Talking to The Daily Telegraph, a friend of the author said: “He has written what would have happened if Jesus had had a fair trial. He knows it will be controversial, but he has some serious points to make.”
Pullman will read his reworking or Christ’s fate at the Globe Theatre on Thursday 19 November as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Reprieve, an organisation which campaigns for prisoner rights.
The author is not new to controversy with the church. An honorary associate of the National Secular Society, several of Pullman’s books have been criticised by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. His Dark Materials, Pullman’s collection of fantasy novels which contain much discussed religious allegories, have been seen as a direct negation of Christian author, C S Lewis’, The Chronicles of Narnia, which have been criticised by Pullman.
He is also often lambasted for an interview in which he reportedly said: “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”
Despite all this confrontation the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has suggested His Dark Materials be taught as part of the religious education curriculum in schools.
Do you think Pullman has gone too far in his atheist quest with this latest project? Do you feel we should question religion more in literature? What was the last faith themed piece of writing you read?
Words: Dean Samways
Watch a documentary on Philip Pullman below:
Dear Samways, The Scribbler, 19 November 2009