Very related: Why does the Emperor-Over-the-Sea play such a small role in the Chronicles of Narnia?

Also related: Why is the Emperor Beyond the Sea named that?

The Chronicles of Narnia refer to Aslan's father as "the Emperor beyond the Sea." He is never shown to act in Narnia directly, beyond creating the Deep Magic. Aslan created Narnia and is the only one seen directly acting in it.

Are the Chronicles effectively endorsing deism here?

the belief in the existence of God (often, but not necessarily, a God who does not intervene in the universe after creating it),solely based on rational thought without any reliance on revealed religions or religious authority.

1 Answer 1


Although Aslan was more of an immediate presence to Narnia than the Emperor, he and his father worked in perfect unity. The Emperor was often referred to as "Aslan's great Father, the Emperor-over-the-sea" and other such titles. He was greatly respected by his son and all who honoured the Lion. [Wikipedia]

I do feel not the the charge of deism can be sustained. The following are examples of Aslan's interventions, that I have scoured from cobwebs and Wikipedia. Surely Aslan's interventions are akin to Christ's miracles.

  • In the Silver Chair Aslan calls Eustace and then catches him as he falls of the cliff and then blows him to safety and destiny. Aslan also blows Jill all the way to Narnia.
  • In the Last Battle Aslan creates the gate.

Wikipedia further suggests:

Prince Caspian

Narnia, as they knew it, is no more, as 1,300 years have passed and their castle is in ruins, while all Narnians have retreated so far within themselves that only Aslan's magic can wake them.

The Silver Chair

Aslan appears and congratulates Eustace and Jill on achieving their goal, then returns them to the stream in his country where Jill first met him. The body of King Caspian appears in the stream, and Aslan instructs Eustace to drive a thorn into the lion's paw. Eustace obeys, and Aslan's blood flows over the dead King, who is revived and returned to youth. Aslan allows Caspian to accompany Eustace and Jill back to their own world for a brief time, where they drive off the bullies before Caspian returns to Aslan's Country.

The Magician's Nephew

Aslan transforms the cabbie's horse into a winged horse named Fledge, and Digory and Polly fly on him to a distant garden high in the mountains.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Aslan kills the Witch. Aslan breathes life into those she has turned to stone on the battlefield.

Surely arguing deism in the Chronicles is akin to arguing deism in the New Testament?

  • 2
    True - but in each case Aslan is intervening, I'm not aware of any instances of the Emperor personally intervening. Commented May 28, 2018 at 17:58
  • 1
    Is Aslan not a deity? [Father, son, etc]
    – fundagain
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 18:04
  • 2
    Surely arguing deism in Narnia is like arguing that the New Testament is a deist text because only Jesus acts on the world. I have edited my post to reflect this argument.
    – fundagain
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 18:09
  • @EJoshuaS Do you have any objections to my argument?
    – fundagain
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 14:08
  • 2
    That's a good point. Commented May 30, 2018 at 14:16

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