C. G. Estabrook
galliher at illinois.edu
Fri Aug 13 05:32:55 MDT 2010
O'Collins (who's even older than you are) has spent too much time in an
obsequious academic culture (and the academy - especially in Europe - is far
worse in that regard than the church).
He's offended by Pullman's literary attack (which in fact is curiously and
obviously double-minded), so instead of taking the occasion to preach the
gospel, as the much more literary Abp. Rowan Williams did
he simply fulminates (which, BTW, is the very opposite of being "Jesuitical").
O'Collins misses the fundamental point Williams starts with: "This is not a
speculation about the beginnings of Christianity ... It is a fable through which
Philip Pullman reflects on Jesus, on the tensions and contradictions of
organised religion -- and indeed on the nature of storytelling..."
"A very bold and deliberately outrageous fable, then, rehearsing Pullman's
familiar and passionate fury at corrupt religious systems of control -- but also
introducing something quite different, a voice of genuine spiritual authority."
The whole review deserves to be read, because Williams is doing exactly what a
bishop (episcopus) is supposed to do - announce the good news to the world at
large (or in this case, that part that reads the Guardian); from words like his,
some "have seen through the surface froth of religion and heard the voice
Pullman himself obviously finds so compelling." O'Collins OTOH is just an academic.
A belated happy birthday, CGE
On 8/12/10 5:46 PM, Gary MacLennan wrote:
> It's my birthday today -68- and I can believe it! so I thought I
> would indulge myself a little on the list, if comrades will excuse
> that. This piece from the Guardian caught my attention. It was a
> report on a book by a Jesuit, Gerald O'Collins, criticising the
> author Philip Pullman's book on Jesus and him having a bad twin etc.
> I haven't read the book and do not intend to. Though my admiration
> for it was increased by seeing that it irritated the Catholic Church,
> so it can't be all bad...
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