Thinking of taking the children to see 'The Golden Compass ' over the holidays? Might be worth knowing what you'll be seeing first (I've read the books and I won't be going to the cinema). Here's Amy Welborn on the subject:

1. Pullman’s triliogy, in his own words is about “killing God.” And yes, God (the Authority, who is really a weak, decrepit, drooling powerless old man) dies.

2. In Pullman’s vision, authority - specifically religious authority, although he is saying all over the place that there’s no reason to think that he’s only talking about religion - is inimical to human freedom. Stands opposed to it.

3. In Pullman’s vision, human beings only find their true selves freed from the enslavement of religious authority. A reverse Garden of Eden scenario - very gnostic - is at the core of this.

Read it all .