Donna Freitas, who claims to be a Catholic theologian, wrote an article in today’s Boston Globe criticizing the Catholic church and in particular the Catholic League for being critical of Phillip Pullman’s book and movie, The Golden Compass. Although she acknowledges that Pullman is an avowed atheist, she claims that his Dark Materials trilogy is actually Christian in it’s theology. However, her idea of Christian theology turns out to be a pantheist or panentheist and extreme feminist idea of Christianity. She’s currently a religion professor at Boston University and is apparently teaching her alternate version of Christianity to her students…Good grief! Any thoughts?
She wrote a book on this topic:
Killing the Imposter God: Philip Pullman’s Spiritual Imagination in His Dark Materials
Obviously she feels strongly about the subject.
Sounds par for the course for a Catholic theologian in Boston.
I think Freitas is really stretching there, and her idea of Catholic theology is apparently quite different from mine.
Here is a link to Pullman’s own site. I think it’s always good to read up on controversial people and see what they really say in their own words.
He is clearly very bright and talented, sees no evidence for God, and detests organized religion. He is also crafty in some of his interviews, throwing out crumbs about the good work that some organized religions do with regard to charitiy, etc. I think he knows there’s lots of money to be made off these movies and doesn’t want to totally tick off parents who are believers.
I won’t be going to the movie.
I believe one can make a case the Pullman’s ideology is actually Christian, specifically apophatically Christian. In apophatic theology, God is not limited or defined by any word or idea – since ideas and words are human creations. Thus, God is not “big” nor “infinite”, nor even “good” or “love”. God is, essentially, beyond all of this. So, any “God” that can be killed (as in Pullman’s novels) is not God, but a false, humanly limited idol.
But that’s clearly not what Pullman believes…he doesn’t believe in anything beyond secular materialism.