one of the theological virtues, is prevalent in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of
Narnia. Two synonyms – belief and loyalty – summarize what faith is. Lewis describes concepts similar to these
two aspects of faith in Mere Christianity. The first involves belief, as in accepting
something as true (Lewis 138). The second part includes keeping that belief despite inevitable changes (Lewis 140). One can
accept a belief based on reason, but he must also be able to keep such beliefs in the midst of his changing emotions (Lewis
140-1). The ideal faith described by Lewis is that of “a child’s heart [and] a grown-up’s head” (Lewis
77). One’s faith should include both a child-like faith, recommended in Mark’s gospel – “whoever does
not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (NAB 10:15) – and a mature faith, advised in Paul’s
letter to the Ephesians – “so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind
of teaching” (NAB 4:13-15). The characters in the Narnia series show various qualities of faith.
and Peter exemplify child-like faith and maturity of faith respectively. They both work towards a balance between the two
qualities. Lucy matures in her faith specifically when she is confronted with situations in which mere belief is not sufficient.
Peter grows in belief when he realizes that reason alone will not suffice. One of the major points of influence in both of
their faith journeys occurs in Prince Caspian when Lucy sees Aslan in the distance
(PC 9). Earlier in The Chronicles of Narnia, Professor Kirke explains to the children
the logic behind believing Lucy (LWW 5). In doing so, he suggests that “logic need not deny the world of faith represented
by Narnia” (“Overview…”).
is the eldest of the Pevensie children. He shows a general maturity beyond the others. He is responsible, logical and courageous
(“Overview…”). His reason, however, does
not always lead the children down the right path. In Prince Caspian, Peter decides
to go on the more logical path, down the gorge, rather than the way Lucy said Aslan wanted them to go (PC 9). According to
Devin Brown, Peter has a tendency to makes decisions and assumptions based on his previous experiences (Brown 144). That is
what Peter does in this situation; he is not used to Aslan only being visible to one person in the group (Brown 143). With
this tendency, he confines his idea of who Aslan is and expects him to act in ways he has previously acted. However, Aslan
says, “things never happen the same way twice” (PC 10). It is also dangerous for an idea of something holy to
become holiness itself (Brown 147-148). Aslan cannot be confined to Peter’s thoughts and assumptions. He’s “not
like a tame lion” (LWW 17).
in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter learns from Professor Kirke that
things that appear logical are not always so; it was not logical for there to be a world inside the wardrobe, but neither
was it logical that Lucy was lying to them (LWW 5). He then begins to realize that reality can disobey its own rules (Brown
142). Peter expresses to the Professor, “if things are real, they’re there all the time” (LWW 5). However,
this is not the case, as he slowly begins to discover. This is where Peter’s logical and expectation-confined tendencies
begin to become apparent.
in Prince Caspian, more of a balance is seen in Peter’s faith. When he is
confronted with the battle, he has begun to understand the lack of predictability of Aslan as well as his own necessity to
act; he trusts that Aslan will come “in his time, no doubt, not ours” (PC 13). Peter leads the others into action,
while remaining open to Aslan’s intercession. He trusts, without expectations, Aslan will act in his own way. At the
same time, he maintains his reason, and takes action. He matures in the title given to him: “King Peter the Magnificent”
the youngest of the Pevensie children, shows the heart of a child more so than the other children. She is innocent, compassionate,
and forgiving (“Overview…”). However, her
child-like faith will not suffice at times. When she sees Aslan across the gorge, the other children do not believe her (PC
9). She chooses to follow them, though, instead of going where Aslan had nonverbally told her to go. She maintains a firm belief despite the others’ unbelief. “‘Don’t talk like a grown-up,’
said Lucy, stamping her foot. ‘I didn’t think I saw him. I saw him’” (PC 9). Even when she’s unable to adequately describe how she knew what Aslan
had wanted, she doesn’t give up hope. Nevertheless, she’s yet to have the maturity of faith necessary to put that
belief into action and convince her siblings to go the way Aslan has mysteriously instructed her to go. She has the strength
to stick to what she said about seeing Aslan; but she doesn’t have the courage to physically stray from the group (“Overview…”). She is faced with the dilemma of
following her siblings or following Aslan, whom only she saw.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy is asked to lead the children through
Narnia (Brown 161). In Prince Caspian, she is not invited to be the leader; instead,
she is faced with her three siblings disagreeing with her and deciding to go the other way. Lucy is outnumbered, yet called
to act contrary to the crowd. She is confronted with a challenge that will ultimately strengthen her faith. When Aslan calls
Lucy out of her sleep, he tells her she must let the others know to follow him; and if they don’t, she must follow him
anyway (PC 10). She obeys Aslan and wakes them; after much explanation from Lucy and hesitancy from the others, Lucy says
she’s going with or without them (PC 10). Her confidence in this decision causes the others to follow her (“Overview…”). She realizes Aslan is not going to do everything for her; and she
accepts her responsibility to take action (Brown 161). She matures in her faith, while maintaining her simplicity. She grows
toward the title given to her: “Queen Lucy the Valiant” (LWW 17).
I believe, shows a more perfected maturity than that of Peter from the start. He is realistic like Peter; however, Puddleglum
displays a more discerning heart rather than being confined by his previous experiences. His realism, which appears pessimistic
at times, looks like optimism at others. He asks Jill, to the point of annoyance, about Aslan’s signs (SC 7). When they
stray from Aslan’s will, Puddleglum becomes more pessimistic and grumpy. When they’re back on the right path he
is optimistic and comforting (Brown 153). When the group is in Underland, Puddleglum snaps out of his pessimism and helps
the others to get out of the reality they’re all in. He stands up to the Queen of Underland by letting her know that
he is going to follow Aslan even if there is no Aslan like she says (SC 12).
in my opinion, displays a child-like faith matured beyond that of Lucy from the beginning. He is described as being “the
most valiant of all the Talking Beasts of Narnia” (VDT 1). This same word is used to describe Lucy when she is given
her title (LWW 17). Reepicheep has had a childhood longing to go to Aslan’s country. He never backs down from an adventure
out of fear. Reepicheep has a deep child-like faith like Lucy; but he also lacks the fear Lucy sometime shows. His struggles
are elsewhere. Reepicheep learns upon the restoration of his tail, and is reminded by Aslan’s gift, that his dignity
is not to be his highest honor (PC 15). Through the verse spoken to him as a baby, as well as his experience of Aslan as he’s
grown up, Reepicheep is confident that he will find what he is looking for in the Utter East (VDT 2). It is his deepest desire
to go there. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, his “faith and persistence
in seeking his destiny are rewarded” (“Overview…”).
His longing and adventures have only been glimpses of what he would see in Aslan’s country. There he discovers the highest
includes the virtue of faith in The Chronicles of Narnia, exemplifying its different
aspects in the characters. He wrote in such a way as to “[transfer] spiritual facts to a setting in which the characters
were real” (“Overview…”). In doing
so, Lewis takes the characteristics of faith and portrays them in a realistic and relatable way. He shows a child-like faith
through Lucy and a maturity of faith through Peter. Through Puddleglum, the necessity of discernment is made apparent. Through
Reepicheep, Lewis shows the benefit of bravery in doing the will of God.