What’s Wrong with Emeth?

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis is one take on what the end of the world may be like, using the imaginary world of Narnia to create it. While listening to a pod cast on The Last Battle, the hosts spent the whole of the episode discussing one minor character, Emeth, a Calormene. The whole discussion revolved around how Emeth, one who never served Aslan, the Jesus character, but served Tash, a false god, could enter into the New Narnia, being heaven. Many people seem to have a problem with this, due to Emeth never being a follower of Aslan, never being saved, how he could enter the new Narnia. As a Catholic, I see this in a different light, due to the three types of Baptism.

Baptism by Water is the most common, where the priest pours water on the one being baptized and says “Be baptized by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” This is the type most people experience. Many of the Narnians are an example of this, including the old kings and queens of Narnia.

Baptism by Blood: This salvation is given by say, a non Christian who hid Christians during the Holocaust and was killed due to it, or someone who wants to be Baptized but die before he can be. He is saved by the martyrdom he gave, truly working in the way of Christ. Such examples in Narnia, might be the old Narnians in Prince Caspian, for though they did not know Aslan they did fight for him.

Baptism by Desire: This is what I see Emeth as. In Baptism by desire if in the right circumstances a person would have sought Baptism they are saved. For Emeth he was never given the chance to personally known Aslan, but he seemed like a good person. Aslan said “If any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn though he know it not and it is I who rewarded him” Through this passage, I felt that Aslan is saying good is done towards Aslan even if the doer does not know it. Aslan later says “And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though her says the name of Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted” From this I drew, that good deeds and good people are of Aslan, Christ, even if they don’t’ know it, and evil deeds and evil people are of Tash, a false god, even if they do not know it. From this it seems that Emeth did follow Aslan though he know it not, in this he is saved by a desire to do good, even if in old Narnia he did not understand.

Now I know Lewis is not Catholic, but he was friends with Tolkein who was Catholic. This may be part of the influence. Though this is only my speculation, it is a different way to approach Emeth, without being too confused.

About MJ

Just a Catholic teen ready to give her opinion on anything and everything.
This entry was posted in Books, Catholic Church, Catholic Discussion, Christ, Life, Literature, Personal Commentary, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Writings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What’s Wrong with Emeth?

  1. Sara says:

    Great explanation, Jaezy! Very clear. :)

    You know, I’ve heard that Lewis nearly converted to Catholicism… he agreed with Catholics on every doctrine except the infallability o the Pope & he just couldn’t accept that…. :-\

  2. Mhm I wouldn’t be suprised Sara.

    And great job sis! I’ll get around to adding some tags for you. ;)

  3. Tony Phillips says:

    Very good analysis.

  4. Cor Mariae says:

    aww, I loved the part with Emeth—I tear up every time I read that part where he walks into the stable… :( *sniff* very good explanation MJ!! :)

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