Christianity Today interviews Philip Pullman

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The Golden Compass is discussed in this Christianity Today article, which quotes from this interview with author Philip Pullman (h/t: Harry at CrookedTimber). Pullman certainly isn't the malevolent mirage conjured up by Christianists; these passages in particular piqued my interest:

I was brought up in the Church of England, and whereas I'm an atheist, I'm certainly a Church of England atheist, and for the matter of that a 1662 Book of Common Prayer atheist. The Church of England is so deeply embedded in my personality and my way of thinking that to remove it would take a surgical operation so radical that I would probably not survive it.


I would hate to live in a world where all the Christian art, philosophy, literature, music, and architecture, not to mention the best of the ethical teaching, had been obliterated and forgotten. My own background, as I've said many times, is Christian to the core. Christianity has made me what I am, for better or worse. I just don't believe in God.

When discussing god as a metaphor, Pullman said:

Perhaps it might be clearer to call him a character in fiction, and a very interesting one too: one of the greatest and most complex villains of all - savage, petty, boastful and jealous, and yet capable of moments of tenderness and extremes of arbitrary affection - for David, for example.

Pullman thus recognizes both sides of the deity that Richard Dawkins only sees in part:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

(The God Delusion, p. 31)

Pullman's statement about the absence of Jesus from the trilogy His Dark Materials was likewise intriguing: "I'm going to get around to Jesus in the next book. I have plenty to say about him." I may find myself reading Pullman's books sooner rather than later.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 1, 2007 1:23 PM.

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