Book Talk: Controversy Surrounding Pullman’s Series

by Kelsey Norwood

in Education, Media, & Literacy,Making Good


My sister recently told me about a series she started reading called “His Dark Materials,” by Phillip Pullman. She told me she liked the first book but just emailed me recently rescinding her recommendation after finding out some disturbing information about the rest of the series.

Apparently Pullman has used these books to promote his anti-God opinions. I am a religious person. I believe that there is a God and that we are his children. A series of books that teaches otherwise is not welcome in my home. I do not feel threatened by a belief that differs from my own, but I also do not read and study those beliefs either. I have read many comments stating that people who do not want their children reading Pullman’s series are closed minded. I don’t hear of too many atheists reading religious materials, and yet when I choose not to read a book with atheist themes I am accused of being closed minded.

I enjoy fictional stories about all topics, including magic (like Harry Potter). I don’t believe that a story that takes place in a magical or other fantastical world is anti-religious at all. However, Pullman’s series allegedly ends with two children representing Adam and Eve killing God.

A movie is being made of the first book, which is mildest in its anti-God themes. The idea is to get parents to take their children to see this movie in hopes that children will want the book series for Christmas. Children will read the second and third books, which contain a more blatant atheist theme. I’ve also read and heard that part of the storyline includes castration and female circumcision; not something I want my children reading about.

I would suggest learning more about these books before/if your children read them. And I won’t be going to see the movie!

{ 1 comment }

1 christina April 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I read your comment about the Pullman series. I read them to my daughter and she and I both enjoyed them. The children don’t kill God, what dies in this series is man’s idea of God, which through time has been corrupted by man — so the author feels. God, in the book, is a decrepit old man whose time has past, but he is being preserved by an evil angel. At the very end, the children live to fulfill their role as Adam and Eve, thus saving the entire universe from evil and annihilation, so that all beings can live in peace. It’s a new Adam and Eve story, where no one falls from grace. I don’t feel the author is anti-God, but rather anti religious dogma.

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