Atheist kids’ author to rewrite Christ’s death

The atheist children’s author Philip Pullman has written his own account about the life of Jesus Christ which will include a “different ending” to that recorded in the Bible.

A friend of the author revealed that Mr Pullman’s story about Jesus Christ, who was crucified by the Romans, will look at what would have happened if Jesus had received “a fair trial”.

Mr Pullman will present his account of Christ’s life at the Globe Theatre tonight as part of the 10th anniversary of Reprieve, an organisation that campaigns for prisoners’ rights.

But press reports suggest that the event organisers have become nervous about Mr Pullman’s plan.

The Daily Telegraph reports that “organisers of the event appear to be worried about his work’s likely reception. After sending out invitations to journalists, the reporters were suddenly disinvited yesterday”.

Mr Pullman is best known as the author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, which have been seen as an atheistic rival to C S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.

Mr Pullman has previously claimed that his books aim to “undermine the basis of Christian belief” and are about “killing God”.

The Golden Compass, a film adaptation of the first part of Mr Pullman’s trilogy, was deemed a box office failure when it was released in 2007. Plans for two further films completing the trilogy were shelved.

Critics have described Mr Pullman’s work as “proselytising”.

Columnist Melanie McDonagh warned about His Dark Materials saying it was “actually setting up a parody of Christianity as a thing itself.”

She added: “Now, that’s fair enough as Mr Philip Pullman’s own belief but I think it is something that readers should be alerted to because it is a proselytising agenda.”

The Association of Christian Teachers’ Chief Executive, Rupert Kaye, said of the trilogy: “My key concern is that many young people (and adults) who read Philip Pullman’s trilogy will be left with an extremely distorted understanding of what Christians actually believe and what the Bible really says about the person of God.”

In September Mr Pullman revealed that he will use his latest book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, to say that Jesus was not God but instead claim the Apostle Paul imagined the idea.

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