Douglas Gresham Visiting Switzerland

Douglas Gresham, co-producer of the Chronicles of Narnia, will be visiting French Switzerland from the 21st to the 25th of October. The stepson of C.S. Lewis (the author of the Chronicles of Narnia which inspired the Disney film), Gresham will be presenting a series of conferences in schools, universities, and churches. When the film was released last December, awareness increased about the Christian aspects of Narnia. Gresham will be talking about these. Furthermore, he will be letting special effects enthusiasts hear about his Hollywood experiences.

Douglas Gresham is the stepson of C.S. Lewis. Born in New York in 1945, he arrived in England in 1953 when his mother Joy Gresham, a writer, became interested in the work of C.S. Lewis, a professor at Oxford then later Cambridge. In 1956, C.S. Lewis married Joy, and Douglas became his adopted son. In “Jack’s Life”, a 2005 biography about the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, Douglas Gresham tells of his perception of the man Lewis. Gresham lived by his side from 1953 to 1963, the year of the author’s death. He creates a portrait of a man full of humour, yet marked deeply by World War I. Firstly by the horrors that he had seen in the trenches when he found himself enlisted as a voluntary officer in the British army. Then, by a promise made to one of his friends to watch over his family in case of his death during the war, a promise that Lewis fulfilled for over thirty years.

Today, Gresham works for the C.S. Lewis Company, a society that manages the rights of the works of C.S. Lewis and controls the manner in which these works are used. During the production of the Disney films, Gresham is representing the interests of C.S. Lewis, even through products used by an international fast food chain in its Happy Meals! A Christian himself, Gresham thinks that the Christian aspects of Lewis’ work should not be hidden under a bushel. “Yet the Christians who have seen the film,” he likes to explain, “go to it to look for Christian symbolism. I think that is the wrong way to approach the film. It would be better when watching it to wonder who each person relates to in the world of Narnia. Am I Peter? Lucy, Susan, Edmund, or Mr. Tumnus?”

For more information: Norbert Valley, pastor of the Eglise évangélique Arc-en-ciel in Gland. Tel. 022 364 68 58 or 079 250 24 79. See also: www.aesr.ch.

Thanks to Philippe, who runs a French Narnia site. (More Details at his site: blog.narnia.ch)

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