Today I spent over seven hours doing something I've wanted to do for a while. With the help of google sites, I've created a central website for what I'm lovingly calling Puddleglum Theology.
What is Puddleglum Theology? If you've ever read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and especially the fourth book in the series The Silver Chair, you might have a clue. If you're completely in the dark about all of this, here's an excerpt from The Silver Chair and the introduction to the Puddleglum Theology website to shed some light:
"I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things--trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."
- Puddleglum, from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
Welcome to Puddleglum Theology! The underlying ethos behind this website is contained in the above quote. I enjoy mystery and myth, beauty and brightness. I would rather take a stand for the world of story than suffer under the burden of mere fact. Not that facts are not useful, or reason an integral part of living and knowing. But, as Madeleine L'Engle expresses, "if we limit ourselves to the possible and provable...we render ourselves incapable of change and growth, and that is something that should never end." (The Rock That Is Higher, 100) She continues: "perhaps it is the child within us who is able to recognize the truth of story--the mysterious, the numinous, the unexplainable--and the grown-up within us who accepts these qualities with joy but understands that we also have responsibilities, that a promise is to be kept, homework is to be done, that we ow other people courtesy and consideration, and that we need help to care for our planet because it's the only one we've got." (TRTIH, 100) Perhaps my outlook on life can be more accurately portrayed by another quote from C.S. Lewis, this time from an essay on "Three Ways of Writing for Children," "When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." (On Stories, 34)
I sincerely believe that there is more to life than we can accurately portray with mere facts, more to truth than statistics and analytical thinking can produce. I do not always live like a child, but I deeply desire that way of life. I want to wonder again, to be in awe more often, to wrestle with the unknown under a dark moon and somehow end up with both a blessing and a new name. I want to celebrate mystery, all the while seeking to understand. I want to be joyful, knowing full well how grim things truly are. I want to love indiscriminately, and fight injustice passionately. I hope that you'll join me.
On this website you'll find a page that reproduces my blog: There Is No Fear In Love, a growing compendium of quotes from my favorite authors and a discussion page where I'll post questions/thoughts for discussion. And, hopefully, more things in the future. So, again, welcome to Puddleglum Theology!
So, there you have it! Puddleglum Theology has been launched. If you are interested in Puddleglum Theology and would like to submit quotes relevant to the themes presented, e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to add them to our growing list of Wiggle Wisdom in the Wigwam Word Archive. Or, if you've written an article or blogpost relating to Puddleglum Theology, I can add that to Respectobiggle Research. Make sure to check out other quotes and articles on the Puddleglum Theology website. Here's the address:
Or you can just click on any of the times I've listed Puddleglum Theology in this post.
Thanks for sticking with me, faithful reader!