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Philip Pullman on why his new books will still challenge religion’s stance on LGBT+ rights

The British author has announced a new series of books based on his popular His Dark Materials series.

Philip Pullman will be returning to the world of Lyra in a new trilogy to be titled The Book of Dust, with the first instalment due out in October.

The writer revealed that the new story – which starts 10 years before His Dark Materials and finishes 10 years after – will explore “what it means to be a human being.”

But Philip Pullman also explained that his storytelling will still challenge religion, especially when it tells people who they can and can’t fall in love with.

“My attitude to religion is that religion is a most interesting and extraordinary human phenomenon,” Pullman told NPR.

“I’m fascinated by it, interested in it, and at some points critical of it.

“And the points when I become critical are the points when politics come into it, and religion acquires political power — political with a small ‘p,’ for example, within the confines of a single family, or Political with a large ‘P,’ on a national or international scale.”

Philip added: “When religion gets the power to tell people how to dress, who to fall in love with, how to behave, what they must not read, what they must not wear, all those things, then religion goes bad.

“Religion is a private thing, and a fine thing and a good thing, as long as it remains private.

“As soon as it becomes public and political, it’s dangerous. That’s the position I’ve taken up in the first series and the position this current one takes up as well.”

The His Dark Materials series was adapted for the big screen in 2007 with the release of The Golden Compass, but after the film was criticised the following two instalments were cancelled.

However, the BBC are currently filming a television adaptation of the trilogy, which could hit screens later this year.

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