[Pullman] enraged America's religious right with his portrayal of God as a senile old man in the His Dark Materials trilogy, and now Philip Pullman is set to court more Christian controversy – this time with a novel about "the Scoundrel Christ."
The book will provide a new account of the life of Jesus, challenging the gospels and arguing that the version in the New Testament was shaped by the apostle Paul. By the time the gospels were being written, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether new and extraordinary, and some of his version influenced what the gospel writers put in theirs," said Pullman, who last year pronounced himself delighted that the His Dark Materials trilogy was one of the most "challenged" series in America's libraries, boasting the most requests for removal from the shelves because of its "religious viewpoint."
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I was pleasantly surprised when I read this article this morning, having loved the His Dark Materials trilogy myself. Pullman brilliantly crafts his heroine Lyra's tale, not only as an engaging and thought-provoking religious challenge, but as a purely phenomenal fantasy novel with all the delicious elements of adventure, imagination, emotion, and a shocking aura of believability.
"Parts of it read like a novel, parts like a history, and parts like a fairy tale; I wanted it to be like that because it is, among other things, a story about how stories become stories." (guardian.co.uk)