Actor Liam Neeson, who does the voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia films, including the forthcoming The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has upset fans of Narnia by claiming that Aslan represents, for him, a wide variety of religious figures. Here’s his statement, as quoted by the Catholic News Agency,
“Aslan symbolizes a
Christ-like figure but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha and
all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries. That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.”
Not surprisingly, Neeson’s comment has stirred the pot. For millions of Christians, Aslan is not just some “Christ-like figure,” but a powerful representation of Jesus Christ. C.S. Lewis, who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, was quite clear about Aslan as fictional image of Jesus, not whichever religious leader you choose.
Is Neeson completely out to lunch? As a practicing Roman Catholic, should he have said this sort of thing?
How should Christians respond to Neeson’s comment? I believe that this gives us a great opportunity to communicate the truth and love of God. Of course it also allows us to show the world how narrow-minded and judgmental we Christians can be.
I’ll offer some further reflection on this situation later. For now, I’d be interested in your observations.