Monday, January 28, 2008

A quote from Rowan Williams

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest rank in the Church of England, had this to say about Pullman's His Dark Materials in 2004:
If the Authority [who is killed in Pullman's novel] is not God, why has the historic Church so often behaved as if it did indeed exist to protect a mortal and finite God? What would a church life look like that actually expressed the reality of a divine freedom enabling human freedom?

A modern French Christian writer spoke about "purification by atheism" - meaning faith needed to be reminded regularly of the gods in which it should not believe. I think Pullman and Wright do this very effectively for the believer. I hope too that for the non-believing spectator, the question may somehow be raised of what exactly the God is in whom they don't believe.
For Williams, the Church of the books is a Church "without creation or redemption, certainly without Christ." You can read the whole article, which is in fact a review of the stage play, written by Nicholas Wright, based on the books, here.

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