The next movie installment in the Narnia series will hit theatres later this month and an Iowa author has a new book on shelves now that offers a roadmap for understanding "Prince Caspian." Gina Burkart, who teaches English at the University of Northern Iowa, says the Narnia world was created by acclaimed Irish author C-S Lewis more than five decades ago, but the story still has a significant impact on modern readers — and movie-goers.
Burkart says, "He was atheist for a while and then progressed back to Christianity and I traced that journey through the Narnia stories." While the first of the movies, "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardobe," was very heavily attended globally in 2005, the books have also seen a resurgence in popularity, with 65-million in print in 30 languages. Burkart’s previous book focused on the Harry Potter phenomenon, another series of highly-popular books — and movies — which bridged the gap between fantasy and reality.
Burkart says: "There are really a lot of similarities between the books and that was one of the original arguments that I made with ‘Parents’ Guide to Harry Potter,’ that the faith genre of literature and fantasy combined, the two can really help us on our own journey and our path." While the Narnia books have been embraced by the faith community, many people criticized the Harry Potter books because they dealt with witchcraft and magic — but so do the Narnia books. Burkart explains the difference in public perception.
Burkart says: "One of the major differences is that C-S Lewis did come right out and say that these books — he calls them supposals, not an allegory but a supposal, meaning, what if Christ were to come into this world like a lion as Aslan, what would transpire?" Burkart’s new book, "Finding Purpose in Narnia" is available at major online bookstores.