Abstract

This essay examines the role of religion in two recent fantasy series, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and Terry Pratchett’s four Tiffany Aching books. Both series engage with religion as a cultural force, taking seriously the threat posed by unquestioning belief in the unseen, in a truth beyond knowing expressed especially in religious texts. Drawing on feminist and narrative theologies, the essay argues that despite Pullman’s public atheism, his methods in the trilogy ironically revitalize the very myths the series overtly works to discredit; but Pratchett’s series, by working outside the constraints of religious language and overtly religious (especially Christian) narrative, more subtly empowers his heroine to wrestle successfully with religion itself.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 276-295
Launched on MUSE
2011-08-13
Open Access
No
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