Sunday, January 18, 2009

"No Magic, or Wizardry!"

I recently came across an advertisement promoting books with the tag line, "No Magic, or Wizardry!" I've seen the ad before in various Christian publications.

The ad strikes me as troubling because it suggests any literature containing "magic" or "wizardry" is immediately off limits for Christians and, specifically, Christian children. This, of course, would exclude a significant amount of great literature including the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings, both written by committed Christians. Such thinking would also exclude classics the likes of Shakespeare, Dante, and a number of other fine writings.

It's more important to discern the underlying worldview in any work of literature rather than to target specific forms of literary expression such as magic and wizardry. In fact, it's just as likely for a book containing "No Magic, or Wizardry!" to be way off track in its worldview as a book containing such elements. Better to teach children discernment than unfounded censorship.

"Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let villains be soundly killed at the end of the book." -C.S. Lewis, "On Three Ways of Writing for Children"


Jeff LaSala said...

Well said. Such a limitation would be a turn-off for me.

Martin LaBar said...