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Narnia brings into clear focus a wide variety of central Christian themes; but out of this variety there are at least three that seem to emerge particularly strongly from the discussion in these pages. If, as I suggested at the beginning, Lewis’s aim is to help us sense what the experience of God is ‘like’, as if we had never before really thought about it, one of the main things he achieves is a sort of redefinition of ‘transcendence’. The word as normally used brings to mind pictures of distance: the transcendent is what is unattainably far off, outside our range of understanding. But Lewis, like the best of Christian theologians throughout the centuries, helps us see that what matters is not distance but difference; not an incalculable separation but an inexhaustible strangeness, a refusal to be captured. And in Lewis’s narrative, this is expressed in terms of rebellion, the joyful overturning of a self-contained order in the name of an uncontainable truth. Transcendence is the wildness of joy; and the truth of God becomes a revolution against what we have made of ourselves. Like Chesterton’s characters, we are all given the opportunity of the romance of being rebels. Evil is cast as the ultimate force of reaction; we are invited to see ourselves as living ‘under occupation’ and summoned to join a resistance movement. The recognition of transcendence becomes the knowledge that there is life beyond the drab ‘Soviet’ world of limited possibilities and carefully prescribed duties...

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