The much-loved children’s stories have an unapologetic Christian message.
C. S. Lewis was clear that the character of Aslan in his Chronicles of Narnia is based on Christ.
But actor Liam Neeson, who voices the lion in the latest Narnia film, has prompted a row after claiming his character is also based on other religious leaders such as Mohammed and Buddha.
Symbol of Christ: The Character of Aslan, voiced by Neeson, was stated by its author C.S. Lewis as Christian
Fans of Lewis’s stories are fuming, claiming Neeson is ruining the author’s legacy to be ‘politically correct’.
Aslan features in all seven Narnia books, steering the children away from evil and encouraging them to take the right path.
In the climax of the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he sacrifices his life to save Narnia from an evil witch before rising triumphantly from the dead.
Controversy: Liam Neeson's view on the role of Aslan has sparked anger
C.S. Lewis's view
C S Lewis had a firm view about the role of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia.
The author once wrote of the character: ‘He is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, “What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?”’
Lewis also said that the books are full of Christian symbolism, covering subjects such as heaven and the end of the world.
This represents the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in shattering the power of the White Witch, the resurrection’s conquest of original sin.
Ahead of the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next Thursday, Neeson said: ‘Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.
‘That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.’