His Dark Materials is one of the most popular, award-winning fantasies of all time, a bestselling trilogy hailed as "a modern classic" by The New York Times. Now, for the first time ever, Lois H. Gresh helps young readers examine Pullman's intricate universe with Exploring His Dark Materials, the ultimate companion guide. Gresh's fun, interactive book explores the complex science, religion, and fantastic elements of His Dark Materials in a way that's both informative and fun for younger readers. Exploring His Dark Materials is filled with sidebars, history, facts and an in-depth analysis of the books, answering questions like: *What are daemons? *Why is dust important to the series? * Is Dark Material real and how does it relate to our universe? * What are the origins of ghosts and shapeshifters? *And much more! Exploring His Dark Materials is a thrilling and essential guide for young adults to help them explore this fantastic and challenging fantasy world.
Three recent and commercially successful series of novels employ and adapt the resources of popular fantasy fiction to create visions of religious identity: J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials and Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind series.The act of creating fantasy counter-worlds naturally involves all three stories in the creation of what Mike Gray terms "transfigurations of transcendence": hopeful albeit paradoxical encodings of the ambiguous, non-observable reality whose primary locus in modern society is the societally extra-systemic human individual. Popular fantasy fiction turns out to involve acts of world-creation that are inherently religious and inherently paradoxical.A substantive examination shows that all three are involved in more or less intentional re-narrations of traditional Christian beliefs and narratives. The »atheist« His Dark Materials series does not deny but re-imagines the Christian visions of selfhood; the »traditionalist« Left Behind series does not simply replicate but modifies its own declared values; the apparent secularity of the Harry Potter series is shaped by its creative reception of Christian patterns and narratives. While the stories' visions of selfhood clearly clash, the basic paradoxes involved in their struggle to articulate transcendence expose significant parallels and a productive conversation with the Christian tradition.It is not simply that popular fantasy fiction is theologically relevant – the Christian Heilsgeschichte, too, proves to be highly relevant in popular culture. However, while far from obsolescent, models of religious identity in contemporary society require criticism and creativity – and, as evinced most powerfully in the Harry Potter stories, a flair for constructive engagement with paradox.
The popularity of the His Dark Materials trilogy has generated a major motion picture, a stage play, video games, and a new prequel. The series has also been highly controversial with its use of exciting adventure stories for children to comment on organized religion. These books have piqued the interest of the contributors to this fascinating volume, who use it to probe the philosophical issues that inform them. Could a golden compass, or alethiometer, really work? Can a person's soul or daemon have a mind of its own? What are the ramifications of pursuing the diabolical "intercision" process, or of trying to bring about the death of God, a plot that Lyra and her mysterious Father struggle over? These are some of the questions explored by these essays that try to get to the heart of Lyra's bewildering, inspiring, and multifaceted world.
Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is a worldwide classic of modern literature for both children and adults. Challenging in its intellectual scope, ambitious scale and range of literary reference, it is also hugely controversial due to its critique of organised religion. This collection of original essays by an international team of distinguished scholars assesses Pullman's achievement and introduces readers to some of the key debates surrounding His Dark Materials. Covering topics such as religion, gender, childhood and scientific enquiry, the volume also discusses the Hollywood film of the first book and features a new interview with Pullman himself.
The amazing true science behind the fiction of His Dark Materials, ideal for fans of the original trilogy and The Book of Dust, with an introduction by Philip Pullman. Award-winning science writers Mary and John Gribbin reveal how the world of Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) is rooted in astonishing scientific truth. Drawing on string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory, they answer fascinating questions such as: could parallel worlds like Will's and Lyra's really exist? How does the subtle knife cut through anything? Could there be a bomb like the one made with Lyra's hair? And, of course, what are the Dark Materials?
This book is a concise and engaging analysis of contemporary literature viewed through the critical lens of cosmopolitan theory. It covers a wide spectrum of issues including globalisation, cosmopolitanism, nationhood, identity, philosophical nomadism, posthumanism, climate change, devolution and love.
While the transmission of Greek philosophy and science via the Muslim world to western Europe in the Middle Ages has been closely scrutinized, the fate of the Arabic philosophical and scientific legacy in later centuries has received less attention, a fault this volume aims to correct. The authors in this collection discuss in particular the radical ideas associated with Averroism that are attributed to the Aristotle commentator Ibn Rushd (1126-1198) and challenge key doctrines of the Abrahamic religions. This volume examines what happened to Averroes’s philosophy during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Did early modern thinkers really no longer pay any attention to the Commentator? Were there undercurrents of Averroism after the sixteenth century? How did Western authors in this period contextualise Averroes and Arabic philosophy within their own cultural heritage? How different was the Averroes they created as a philosopher in a European tradition from Ibn Rushd, the theologian, jurist and philosopher of the Islamic tradition?
Enter the realm of His Dark Materials - soon to be a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.After exploring the worlds of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Narnia, David Colbert turns to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. From the philosophy of William Blake and John Milton's poem Paradise Lost to quantum physics and the Bible, this book reveals the complex origins and controversial themes that make Pullman's trilogy a modern marvel in literature.