A Jesuit priest and bible scholar has written a fierce response to Philip Pullman’s retelling of the life of Jesus, claiming that the author distorted history to reinforce his own unfavourable views about institutional Christianity.
Father Gerald O’Collins, author of over 50 books and professor of theology at the Gregorian University in Rome for over 30 years, will publish a book later this month taking on Pullman’s assertion, in his novel The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, that “this is a story”.
In his book, Philip Pullman’s Jesus, the priest asks if the author used “or rather misuse[d] the story of Jesus to wage war on Christianity”.
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“His distaste for institutional religion is well documented in His Dark Materials,” he writes. “What better way to demolish Christianity than by suggesting that it was founded on deliberate fraud: not on a true resurrection of Jesus, but on the theft of his body, and encounters with his twin masquerading as Jesus risen from the dead?”