Just a quick entry to say that I am back in the world of the bloggers again after a little family time.
On the break, I began reading Ian Ker’s “Mere Catholicism”. I have a few pages to go, and intend to write a full book review for Kairos, so more info on that later.
My other reading assignment was Philip Pullman’s “Northern Lights”, the first in his “Children’s Book of the Year” winning trilogy “His Dark Materials”, and the basis for the upcoming Nicole Kidman film “The Golden Compass” (which is also the name under which “Northern Lights” was released in the US). After reports that these novels (and the film) were “anti-Catholic”, I thought I should have a look at them myself.
I have realised that I can’t really pass definitive judgment upon this work until I have read the other two novels in the trilogy. However, I can say at this point that these are not books suitable for any children I know of. “Northern Lights” is, however, an extremely imaginative and quite original work.
One of the reasons I want to suspend judgement at this point is that the first novel takes place entirely in an alternative universe. Yes, the bad guys (and gals) do belong to something called “The Church”, and theology does come into it in the last few pages, but Jesus Christ is never mentioned, and God rarely. Certainly there is nothing like religious faith evident in the characters. My feeling at this point is that the “anti-Christian” element (and it is definitely there) is very subtle. In this respect it could be a much greater trap for the reader than that subtle-as-a-sledge-hammer “bloody book” by Dan Brown.
However, the next volume is meant to shift into our universe, in which the Church really does exist as a community of faith in Jesus Christ. It is how Pullman treats this real Church, rather than his own fictitious caricature which will really interest me.