Last Sunday, the Boston Globe published an article by religion professor Donna Freitas in praise of the forthcoming movie The Golden Compass and the series of children’s books by Philip Pullman on which it is based. The article is also highly critical of those who oppose the movie.
As with the Da Vinci Code, we are starting to see apologists for The Golden Compass whose own religious views render their opinion suspect.
In her article, Freitas applauds the revelation of a feminine deity. She defends liberation theology, which she says calls believers to “disregard doctrine that leads to oppression.” Pullman’s characters, according to Freitas, hold onto their image of God, such as it is–or isn’t–even as they wage war with “authorities called Church and Magisterium–those who rule by secrecy and serve a false God . . .”
She calls this a beautiful, Christian story. By her own praise for the story she reveals that it is just the opposite.
For a more thorough critique of Freitas’ review, see Carl Olsen’s excellent post on the subject. Pete Vere, who with Sandra Meisel has written an entire book on Pullman’s work entitled Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children’s Fantasy, will have a review of The Golden Compass in the next issue of Lay Witness magazine.