The search for Human Godhood: Challenging Traditional Religious Hierarchies with Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
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- Student papers (HF-IKS) 
The depiction of religion in Philip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials [HDM] is a central issue for Pullman scholars, particularly the unique depiction of religious hierarchies in the text. This thesis enters this debate to argue that central to the issue of religious hierarchies in HDM is the possibility for the everyday human to achieve a sense of “human godhood”. Engaging with the arguments of Pullman scholars who focus on the issue of religious hierarchies, such as Alan Jacobs who presents HDM as anti-theistic in nature, or indeed Chantal Oliver and Naomi Wood who argue that the religious and hierarchical criticism in HDM is justified, I will introduce the concept of the carnivalesque to critically analyze the concept of the “disobedient pursuit of knowledge” (Wood 3) in relation to the religious hierarchies in the text. Focusing on the crucial character of Mary Malone before explicating a selection of key scenes will not only illustrate that a sense of “human godhood” is achievable, but we can also argue that HDM actually attempts to establish a new hierarchy in which humans can be considered as superior to God.