Pullman’s Golden Compass

Vol. 1 of atheist Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, is set to debut as a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman on Dec. 7, 2007. It’s titled “The Golden Compass.” That it “features a little girl on a quest to kill God has some Christian groups upset over what they believe is a ploy to promote atheism to kids.”

See here for a few thoughts on trilogy by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

From the British Humanist Association:

This excellent and absorbing trilogy is an imaginative and humanistic story of growing up, with elements of mythology, fantasy and magic, philosophy and theology, in which organised religion is not treated kindly and God, the elderly and frail tool of the Church, dies.

Philip Pullman wrote to the BHA: “What little I know of the worldview of your movement makes me think I would probably agree with most of it, though I’m not sure I’d be bold enough to describe myself as a humanist: tolerant, part-time, curious, semi-superstitious and largely skeptical pagan might be nearer the mark. I am happy to support you and argue for your aims, and pour ridicule on faith schools and the teaching of creationism….”

I’ve heard the film described as the antithesis of Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Pullman, in fact, calls Lewis’s books “reactionary and dishonest” and “one of the most ugly and poisonous things I’ve ever read.” He also dubs Lewis himself a “tweedy medievalist.”[1] This alone clues me in to Pullman’s (low)caliber abilities as a literary critic and gentleman.

More to come once we’ve all seen the film. If you have additional info now, feel free to share it in the comments.
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[1]Pullman, Philip (1998), “The Darkside of Narnia”, The Guardian [avail. here]

4 Responses to Pullman’s Golden Compass

  1. Tom Gilson says:

    It’s being very heavily promoted in public schools–as a curriculum resource, of all things.

  2. Clinton says:

    Wow. Once again, proof that there is in fact a pervasive anti-supernatural bias in our educational systems.

  3. Daniel says:

    The line “and pour ridicule on faith schools and the teaching of creationism….” says it all to me. For some reason (psychological perhaps?) atheists like to focus their ridicule on religion as a whole (and christendom in particular) because of their distaste for ASPECTS of religion or christianity. We see it all the time with people stereotyping christians as right wing republicans. So therefore anyone with an anti-republican presuppositional bias won’t even turn an ear to a christian, republican or otherwise. We see it here with Pullman as the same thing. For some personal reason he doesn’t like christian schools and creationism (i assume literal six-day creationism). So therefore he doesn’t like christianity on the whole, won’t listen to the arguments, because of his distaste for christian school and literal creationists.

    It’s to his own befall to be so close minded to the point of intellectual retardation….

  4. Clayton says:

    For some reason (psychological perhaps?) atheists like to focus their ridicule on religion as a whole (and christendom in particular) because of their distaste for ASPECTS of religion or christianity. We see it all the time with people stereotyping christians as right wing republicans.

    I think that’s a stereotype of atheists, and a crude one at that.

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