The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass is about a pre-adolescent girl name Lyra living in a world similar to ours but different in many ways. She stumbles into an epic battle between those on the side of her Uncle Asriel (the academic and scientific world) and a powerful group called “the Magisterium.” As the adventure unfolds, Lyra becomes embroiled in a battle against those who claim allegiance to the “Authority.” This film is adapted from the first of three books in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, an author who claims the goal of undermining Christianity. 

DISCUSS:

In Lyra’s world everyone’s soul is called a “daemon” and it appears in an animal form that reflects the person’s basic personality. What animal form would your soul take if visible? (See "A" Below)

Lord Asriel refers to someone called “The Authority.” Asriel has a conflict with members of “The Magisterium” who support the Authority. Who do you think this “Magisterium” is supposed to represent in our world? (See "B" Below)

Why would Mrs. Coulter and the Magisterium cut children away from their daemons (souls)? (See "C" Below)

THINK ABOUT IT:

A) The word “deamon” sounds like “demon” but carries a different meaning.  A “daemon” is an ancient word describing beings who bridge the physical and spiritual realms.    

B) The Golden Compass is the first of a three-book series in which author Philip Pullman portrays a war against God by those who reject any authority so everyone can rule his or her own life.  He overtly claims to hate Christianity and the church.  His books call God “The Authority” and the church “The Magisterium.”  Lord Asriel represents the elite members of the academic and scientific communities.  Pullman’s stories pit them against one another with “God” as the villain.  

C) Philip Pullman claims that religion cuts people off from their true nature by placing them under the authority of an illegitimate God.  But Christians know that rebellion against a loving God cuts us off from his life-sustaining goodness.  (Read Genesis 3; Matthew 5:5; Matthew 11:29; I Peter 5:5)   

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