Round-Table Discussion on The Golden Compass
- Thursday, December 06, 2007
Are you going to read/watch the rest of the series?
MK: If there is a movie sequel I probably will... I am going to read the rest of the trilogy, and pretty quickly too. I want to be prepared to discuss the series, not just Book One, which we all know is pretty watered down in relation to the rest of the trilogy. At the end of this book Lyra essentially postulates, "if they (people who have hurt us and done bad things) have always told us sin is bad, it must be good," and she goes on to explore that idea in the next books. I want to be able to share how far Pullman really goes with this idea.
As I said before, this book does leave a mark and you can’t leave unscathed. We did not enter this lightly but prayerfully and purposefully. I think we all agree it was worth it for the sake of the project, but admittedly a deep impression has been made on each of us.
SJ: I will definitely read the rest of the series. You have to in order to really address it and discuss it in an informed way. I don't think everybody should dive in. There are so many other good things to read instead. This could be a great tool for someone who's getting ready to go to college for various levels of intellectualism they will encounter there. This does have elements of the spiritual realm that are disturbing, resembling New Age spirituality or the occult. If you've been scarred in that way, don't go near the books.
SM: I intend to read the next couple books, and have already begun Book Two and skimmed ahead for quotes, while also reading all the articles floating around out there about it right now. But like Meghan said, there's been a mark left, in the same way that other books like Sphere and The Da Vinci Code left regarding something within me that seeks out the capabilities of the human mind, dark mysteries, and possibility. But those are whispers of the ‘old nature’ that come back to tempt and haunt me…
Still want more? Check out these valuable resources we’ve come across:
The Golden Compass Brings Nietzsche to Narnia: The Philosophical Underpinnings of His Dark Materials, by Marc T. Newman, Ph. D.
Makes the case that “the philosophy that underlies much of Pullman's fiction is Friedrich Nietzsche's — a German philosopher whose work was influential with the Third Reich.”
The Golden Compass: Briefing Your Concerned Congregation, by Albert Mohler
Mohler follows a Q & A format, asking the right questions and providing brilliant, well-informed answers.
Golden Compass Incenses Both Atheists and Christians, USA Today
The president of American Atheists worries that the film has been “watered down” and is not anti-God, anti-Church enough.
Who’s Afraid of The Golden Compass? by Paul Edwards
Edwards argues that while Pullman’s depiction of the Church is a false one, it does not necessarily follow that the Church Pullman depicts does not exist. So let’s not give him that opening.
Authors Debunk Mystery of His Dark Materials Series, by Annabelle Robertson
This review of a book titled Shedding Light on His Dark Materials (by the authors of Finding God in The Lord of the Rings) indicates that Pullman actually has a fan in the Archbishop of Canterbury. Their book offers “thoughtful analysis which highlights parallels to the Christian faith [within His Dark Materials] whenever possible.”
Fear Not the Compass, Christianity Today
“God is not threatened by Philip Pullman. And people who stop to think through Pullman's story, and how he ‘refutes’ Christianity, will see what a feeble ‘attack’ against Christian belief it really is,” writes movie critic Jeffrey Overstreet.
The Shed Where God Died, Sydney Morning Herald
The well-quoted interview from four years ago which reveals much of Pullman’s ways of thinking and writing.
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