Archbishop Rowan Williams commends the atheist for taking the 'Christian myth' and the church 'seriously,' thus reviving relevance to theology.
-- From "Philip Pullman helps understanding of theology, says Archbishop of Canterbury" by Stephen Adams, Arts Correspondent 5/28/09
Citing Pullman as one of his favourite modern writers, Dr Rowan Williams said he liked his work because it took the church "seriously" at a time when theology was "drifting out" of mainstream thought.
Pullman has been castigated by parts of the Roman Catholic church, particularly in North America, as many consider the trilogy His Dark Materials to be a veiled attack on it.
Although he stressed he disagreed with Pullman's atheistic view, he commended his "search for some way of talking about human value, human depth and three-dimensionality, that doesn't depend on God."
He agreed with the thrust of Pullman's novels that religious authorities must not silence the "demons" that people carry with them – the essential "internal conversation" between good and evil.
In 2007 Roman Catholic groups called for a boycott of the film The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, which was based on Northern Lights, the first book in the trilogy.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League in the United States, described the books as "atheism for kids".
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