Philip Pullman book denies Jesus was son of God
Philip Pullman, the children’s author, is set to cause controversy with a new book – called The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ – denying that Jesus was the son of God.
The book which is due to be published at Easter next year, argues that St Paul came up with the ”story” that Jesus had a divine link.
Pullman has previously ruffled feathers in religious circles with the trilogy His Dark Materials, interpreted by some groups as being anti-Christian.
Mr Pullman is a strident atheist who has said his books aim at “killing God”.
Critics have described his work as “proselytising”.
Commenting before the launch of the new book Mr Pullman said: “For every man or woman who has been led to goodness by a church, and I know there have been many, there has been another who has been inspired by the same church to a rancid and fanatical bigotry for which the only fitting word is evil.”
Mr Pullman described Paul as, “a literary and imaginative genius, who has had more influence on the world than anybody else, including Jesus. He had this great ability to persuade others and his rhetorical skills have been convincing people for 2,000 years”.
“By the time the gospels were being written, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether new and extraordinary, and some of his version influenced what the gospel writers put in theirs,” said Pullman, who last year pronounced himself delighted that the His Dark Materials trilogy was one of the most “challenged” series in America’s libraries, boasting the most requests for removal from the shelves because of its “religious viewpoint”.
His new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, will be published next Easter as part of Scottish independent press Canongate’s Myths series…
Publisher Jamie Byng said that Pullman’s contribution to the series “strips Christianity bare and exposes the gospels to a new light”. “The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ throws down a challenge and does what all great books do: make the reader ask questions,” he added.
Philip Pullman faces his daemons: As his trilogy reopens at Birmingham Rep, the author of His Dark Materials explains why he’s so angry about God, The Times, Mar. 17, 2009