Philip Pullman, the irrepressible agnostic author already beloved by Christians for portraying the church as evil in his His Dark Materials series and for once bragging that “my books are about killing God,” is at it again, hilariously. He tells the Guardian this week that the title of his next release is The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ and says it will explore “the dual nature of Jesus.” Scoundrel Christ (which, unbelievably, is not also the name of a band) will “provide a new account of the life of Jesus, challenging the gospels” by charging that the apostle Paul’s large influence on the New Testament was mostly a bad thing: “Paul was a literary and imaginative genius of the first order who has probably had more influence on the history of the world than any other human being, Jesus certainly included,” says Pullman. “I believe this is a pity.” And best of all, he intends to right this grievous error by releasing his promising-sounding book next Easter. We imagine you’ll be hearing more about this.
Philip Pullman to publish novel about ‘the Scoundrel Christ’ [Guardian via ArtsBeat/NYT]