My latest article for National Catholic Register asks, “Loving Muslims? How Do I Do That?”
It is a reminder of the document Nostra Aetate–on non Christian religions published fifty years ago today.
C.S.Lewis comes into the equation with the story from The Last Battle–the last Narnia book.
As usual, one of the best ways to come to understanding is not with theological argument or cultural debate, but with a story. The last book of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series sheds light on the problem. The villains in the story are the Calormenes, who resemble Muslims. They worship a demon called Tash, while the faithful Narnians adore the great lion Aslan.
In the final scene of The Last Battle, the warriors go through the door of death and meet the one they worship. The wicked Calormene, Rishda Tarkaan, meets his terrifying god, and Tash devours him. Emeth, the good Calormene — expecting to meet Tash, whom he has served — meets Aslan. Emeth bows low before Aslan, expecting to be judged harshly for not believing in him, but Aslan answers:
“Child, all the service you have done to Tash, I account as service done to me. … I take to myself the services which you have done to him. For no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not; and it is I who reward him. If any man do a cruelty in my name, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash he serves. Unless your desire had been for me, you would not have sought so long and so truly, for all find what they truly seek.”
Go here to read the full article.