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The Lion's World by Rowan Williams,
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This review is from: The Lion's World - A journey into the heart of Narnia (Paperback)
This book published by S.P.C.K. is a little gem, small enough to go into a shoulder bag or a bedside table. It has good sized clear print for ageing eyes. The tender modern illustrations by Monica Capoferri capture the otherworld of childrens' fantasy yet span images reminiscent of medieaval Sienese paintings to modern artists of the 21st century.
This book is no easy read. It has challenging theology where Rowan interprets a range of books by C.S. Lewis and refers to other writers such as Philip Pullman, Dostoevsky, Thomas Merton and Michael Ward. He does not let us get away with self satisfaction or leave us quite comfortable with our own self -appraisal, neither does his mentor C.S.Lewis. It has deep theology, a history of childrens' literature when Lewis was a boy, and an understanding of the veils and hidden revelations behind the plots and actions of the stories. There is an understanding of Lewis's sympathetic vision of animals in the totality of creation yet not overlooking the predjudices and bias over certain animal characters and humans in the stories.
You do not have to have read all of the Narnia books, though it would help, whilst many of Lewis's adult novels are analysed, also his philosophical treaties.The Lion's world is a world within the world, packed with delights like a conjuror's box. It gives us insight into Rowan's thinking- a gift he leaves us as he approaches retirement as Prelate of the Anglican church.