The short version:
Green: But why would a Lion care about a Human religion.
Aslan: I am a symbol of Jesus. One who has been such a symbol since the 1950s.
Green: But, but you're a Lion and Christianity is a Human religion so why would you be interested in the founder of a human religion.
Aslan: I have been a symbol of Jesus in print for sixty three years and existed as a conception of such a symbolic representation of Jesus for seventy four years. The entire reason for my existence is to represent Jesus. It's what I do, it's who I am.
Green: That still begs the question why....
Lauren Green: Aslan is a Lion who was once away allowing the White Witch to rule Narnia but has now returned to ways of his past--that's telling Narnia how it should be. He is now an allegory-ish thing for Jesus. Aslan joins me now from Narnia—welcome!
Aslan: Thank you for having me.
Green: Well, this is an interesting book; now I want to be clear about—you're a Lion, so why did you become a stand in for the founder of Christianity?
Aslan: Well, to be clear, I am a symbolic figure with seven books including one in which I die and I am resurrected who has been symbolizing Jesus for six decades, who also just happens to be a Lion. So it's not that I'm just some Lion writing about a Human named Jesus. I am an expert with a long history in symbolizing Christian teachings. Uh, but, I've been conceived of as a Jesus--
Green: But that still begs the question, though, it still begs the question why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?
Aslan: Because it's my reason for existence as a symbol. I am a symbolic character, one of Jesus. Uh, that's what I am, actually. So, I mean, it would be like asking Lazarus why he was a character in, y'know, a parable. I mean, I'm not sure about that. But, honestly, I've been conceived of as a symbol for Jesus since, really 1939. I've been written as a symbol of him and his portion of the Trinity for over six decades, both in ordinary and fan fiction. Just to be clear this is not some attack on Christianity, my author was a Christian, as are most of my fans. Anyone who thinks that my symbolic nature is an attack on Christianity has not read the books yet.
Green: I, uh, but, I wanna, uh, I want to read you some quotes from, uh, some Hunans who are criticizing you—one from John Dickerson who has written a, uh, an op-ed piece on FoxNews.com, and he says, um: "This is not an Human's symbol of Jesus. This is an educated Lion's caricature of Jesus." He says: "His conclusions are long-held Lionic claims, namely that Jesus was a Lion prophet type, who didn't claim to be god." Um—that—
Aslan: Well, that's actually not what Lions claims about Jesus. My, my work about Jesus overturns pretty much everything that Lions also think about Jesus, as well. And, to be clear, I just wanna emphasize this one more time: I am a symbol. I am a symbol of Jesus. This isn't a lion opinion. This is a symbolic work of literature.
Green: How, how are your findings different from what lions actually believe about Jesus?
Aslan: Well, Lions don't believe that Jesus was executed, first of all. Uh, I mean, Jesus was most definitely executed,. So, again, I mean, I know that we've mentioned this three times now. Uh, I'm not sure what my species happens to do with my sixty years of symbolizing Jesus.
Green: I'm just trying to bring out, um, what some others are claiming at this point, and I want you to answer to those claims, which is—
Aslan: Well, it's pretty clear that there are those who actually do not like the book, who are, y'know, unhappy with its general arguments. That's perfectly fine. I'm more than willing to talk about the arguments of the book itself. But I do think it's perhaps a little bit strange that rather than debating the arguments of the book, we are debating the right of a Lion to actually be a symbol in it.
Green: Well, let me, let me give you some, uh, let me give you some other quotes from, uh, Dr. William Lane Craig, um, who is a, uh, Christian philosopher and theologian. He's written a lot of books, and, um, done a lot of debates about science and religion. Um, he said: "Aslan merely reiterates bygone ideas about Christianity that have since been abandoned and refuted." What do you say to that?
Aslan: Well, I would disagree; [insert awesome here]
Green: Right, exactly, what're your—um, we're not talking about just people who disagree with you; scholars, many scholars, disagree with you as well. But I want to get to the heart of—
Aslan: Absolutely, and many scholars do agree with me—
Green: [crosstalk] —what do, what are your representations of Jesus?
[I ran out of steam.]
Oh dear Emperor-Beyond-The-Sea, now I want that version of Aslan (the lion) in the Narnia books as well.ReplyDelete
I know I'm coming to this late, but I love this line:ReplyDelete
Well, I would disagree; [insert awesome here]
I also love pondering the implications tied up in the "book review" quote about "long-held Lionic claims, namely that Jesus was a Lion prophet type, who didn't claim to be god." Wow, is that review ever wrong! I can't say for myself whether the reviewers were just as wrong about Reza Aslan's book, but if that's any implication...