The lion exchanging his life for Edmund's is the sort of thing Arthurian legends are made of. Parfait knights and heroes in prisoner-of-war camps do it all the time. But what's this? After a long, dark night of the soul and women's weeping, the lion is suddenly alive again. Why? How?, my children used to ask. Well, it is hard to say why. It does not make any more sense in CS Lewis's tale than in the gospels. Ah, Aslan explains, it is the "deep magic", where pure sacrifice alone vanquishes death.I'm not sure if it's the hostility that offends me most or the rampant ignorance that accompanies it. Loving sacrifice of self is "repugnant"--unless performed by Arthurian knights, of course, whom Toynbee evidently believes were operating in a religious vacuum.
Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls.
Ah, well, I can't claim I wasn't warned.
(She also misspelled Norman Vincent Peale's last name. Not a substantive complaint, but she needs a copy editor.)
[Via Russell Wardlow.]