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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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Archbishop of Canterbury discusses Narnia in Holy Week Lectures

Monday 18th April 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has discussed the popular Narnia stories of C.S.Lewis in his 2011 Holy Week Lectures which took place in Canterbury Cathedral over three consecutive evenings leading up to Easter.

In previous Holy Week lectures, Dr Williams has explored the creeds, the Bible, prayer, the role of the saints in spiritual growth and looked in depth at Mark’s Gospel story of Jesus’ life.

This year, Dr Williams, a Narnia fan, has turned his attention to the Christian themes found in the Narnia novels. Dr Williams explained: “The Narnia books of C.S. Lewis continue to intrigue and inspire many, and the recent very successful films have shown that they still have wide appeal. Lewis certainly intended them to be vehicles of Christian teaching. But in an age less familiar with Christian images and ideas than his, how can we best draw out these themes?”

Speaking about the pertinence of the novels to the Easter story of resurrection, Dr Williams commented: “These lectures will look at some of the most important themes in the novels and ask how far Lewis succeeds in giving new life to traditional Christian ideas about sacrifice, forgiveness and resurrection, doubt and faith, the divine presence in Jesus and the final goals of human life.”

The lectures entitled: 'Not a tame lion', 'I only tell you your own story' and 'Bigger inside than outside' took place on Monday 18 April, Tuesday 19 April and Wednesday 20 April at Canterbury Cathedral.

Audio from each of the lectures can be found below:

Lecture 1: 'Not a tame lion'
Lecture 2: 'I only tell you your own story'
Lecture 3: 'Bigger inside than outside'

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