Back in the magic land of Narnia

C. S. Lewis’s enchanting Chronicles of Narnia series has, in recent years, come under critical fire. It’s racist, sexist, colonialist; blatant propaganda for Christianity, hoodwinking children into a life of religious submission. These barbs seem to me to miss the point. As a geeky nine-year-old, I had a dim sense that Aslan had something to do with Jesus Christ. But so what — he was a talking lion! (And, even to children who weren’t Scripture swots, he clearly isn’t Jesus Christ, but something else.) Dyed-in-the-wool atheists get it wrong. I’ve never met a child who marched blindly from Narnia to Christ; but I have met children (now adults) who, already