Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Reductive and contemptuous

And it’s true, Pullman’s treatment of the Church is pretty reductive and contemptuous, since we all know that the Church didn’t really torture and burn witches, or torture and kill ordinary humans whose philosophical and scientific speculations were at odds with the teachings of the Vatican. On the contrary, the Church has always been pretty cool about alternative readings of Scripture, on the grounds that the Bible is an ambiguous and contradictory text that can plausibly be read in any number of ways by honest people working in good faith. About the varieties of human sexual expression, as well, the Church has always been admirably catholic.
Michael Bérubé, reviewing His Dark Materials

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