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Pied Piper of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children’s Fantasy by Sandra Miesel and Peter Vere, with Introduction by Carl E. Olson, is an intelligent examination of the controversial book, The Golden Compass, and the series of books by British atheist writer Philip Pullman, called His Dark Materials.
A film version of The Golden Compass opens December 7 and stars Nicole Kidman.
Atheism for children is how some people describe the new children’s fantasy film and the books from which it derives. “The anti-Narnia” is how some supporters of the film–not just critics–see it.
Pullman is widely acclaimed by critics and readers for his best-selling series. But he has been criticized by many for attacking Christianity and promoting atheism.
What is the truth about Pullman and his books? What does he believe about God, religion, Christianity, the Catholic Church, and atheism? What does he hope his books will accomplish? Why does he express such strong disdain for the fiction of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien? Should children be reading the His Dark Materials trilogy, or watching the film version of The Golden Compass, the first book of the trilogy?
These are just some of the many important questions addressed by Sandra Miesel and Pete Vere in their accessible, concise, and thoroughly-researched analysis of Pullman’s fiction and beliefs.
The authors reveal the many premises, and often surprising literary and philosophical sources and symbols of the popular His Dark Materials. They also compare Pullman’s fiction to The Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter books, and other famous works of children’s fiction. And they examine the metaphysical premises and moral propositions found throughout the series–pointing out the many objectionable aspects of the books, including violence and sensuality–about which every concerned parent should know. Readers looking for a fair, firm, and non- sensational critique of The Golden Compass and the other books of His Dark Materials will find it in Pied Piper of Atheism.
Sandra Miesel is the co-author of the best-selling book, The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code. She holds masters degrees in biochemistry and medieval history from the University of Illinois. She has written hundreds of articles for the Catholic press, chiefly on history, art, and hagiography. Sandra has spoken at religious and academic conferences, appeared on EWTN, and given numerous radio and television interviews. She has also written, analyzed, and edited fiction, and has worked with and has known numerous renowned science fiction and fantasy authors.
Pete Vere, J.C.L., is a husband, father, lay canon lawyer and Catholic journalist. He writes about canon law and cultural issues for several publications–both Catholic and non-Catholic. He is also the co-author of Surprised by Canon Law, Surprised by Canon Law 2, and More Catholic Than the Pope. He has written about His Dark Materials for several publications, including The Washington Times and This Rock magazine.
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