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Philip Pullman 'threatened with eternal damnation'

22nd March 2010

Fantasy novelist Philip Pullman has attracted controversy and criticism for his new book The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the author revealed that he has received dozens of letters threatening him with 'damnation by fire' for the alleged blasphemy contained in the novel.

He explained: 'The letter writers essentially say that I am a wicked man, who deserves to be punished in hell. Luckily it's not in their power to do anything like sending me there.'

The book, which is released on April 1st, takes the form of a gospel and claims that a man named Jesus did exist 2,000 years ago, but the concept of him being the son of God was invented by St Paul.

Pullman also told the newspaper that the novel was partly inspired by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who asked the writer why he did not use Jesus as a character in the His Dark Materials trilogy.

Pullman's works are no strangers to controversy. Last year, the American Library Association revealed that the His Dark Materials series faces more challenges to be banned than any other work bar Justin Richardson's And Tango Makes Three - the story of two gay penguins.

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