Posts Tagged ‘religious diversity’

C.S. Lewis wrote about religious diversity in several places throughout his work. There is debate over whether he was an exclusivist or inclusivist. One work in which he discusses the problem is The Last Battle, part of the Chronicles of Narnia. The scene is in Aslan’s country (heaven). In it, Emeth, who is not from Narnia, find himself in Aslan’s country, along with all of those who have believed in and been lead by Aslan (Jesus). Emeth has worshiped Tash (false God/satan/demon). This is how he describes his meeting with Aslan in Aslan’s Country.
Our next posts will be focusing on the problem of religious diversity and presenting our own views on how Christianity handles it. Some posts will respond to this scene, others will simply write about the problem. The scene is below (Emeth is speaking):

“So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable trees till lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size as an elephant’s; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert.Then I fell at his feet and thought, ‘Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.’

“But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, ‘Son, thou art welcome.’

“But I said, ‘Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.’

“He answered, ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.’

“Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, ‘Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one?’

“The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, ‘It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child?’

“I said, ‘Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.’

“‘Beloved,’ said the Glorious One, ‘unless they desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what the truly seek.’

“Then he breathed upon me and took away the trembling from my limbs and caused me to stand upon my feet. And after that, he said not much, but that we should meet again, and ‘I must go further up and further in.’ Then he turned him about in a storm and flurry of gold and was gone suddenly.

“And since then, O Kings and Ladies, I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog-”