Phillip Pullman, whom the New Yorker once called ‘the most outspoken atheist in Britain’, wrote the young adult trilogy, His Dark Materials, which cemented his reputation around the world, and gained him notoriety among conservative religious folk.
Now, in his new book, he talks about how much he feels he has learned from the person of Jesus of Nazareth, apart from any claims of divinity.
It’s not impossible to believe that there was a man called Jesus, who preached and had followers and was crucified by the Romans for what were basically political reasons. To go by what we read in the Gospels, he was a man with immense gifts of narrative and imagery, and a moralist of considerable power.
We can learn a lot from him without having to believe he was the son of God. It was the Christ part that always felt unbelievable. I wanted to dramatize the difference I felt there was between the man Jesus and the myth Christ.
The whole interview, well worth a read, is here.
“Philip Pullman 2005-04-16” by Photographed by Adrian Hon, http://mssv.net/ – From http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrianhon/9705812/ ; cropped and autolevelled using GIMP.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.