Fantasy Author Terry Pratchett and his Religious Beliefs

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett was the author of the Discworld fantasy series. He passed away this month at 66-years-old, after fighting Alzheimer’s disease.

Pratchett’s parents were David and Eileen Pratchett. He was born in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Apart from being an avid reader, Pratchett was interested in radio and astronomy as well.
Terry Pratchett attended High Wycombe Technical High School and at 15 he became a published author, writing books such as The Hades Business, The Color of Magic, The Discworld Companion and The Science of Discworld.

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

In 2007, Pratchett declared that a diagnosis had been made and he was found to have a rare kind of Alzheimer’s which was in its initial stages. He became actively involved in fighting this disease and donated $1 million to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

In 2008 and 2009 he took part in a documentary series on BBC about surviving with Alzheimer’s. He gave details about the gradual disintegration of his memory. His Alzheimer’s led him to supporting the legalization of assisted suicide in the UK.

However, in 2012 Pratchett said that his illness was advancing slower than he had anticipated. He used software for voice recognition and by dictating to an assistant, he went on writing well after being diagnosed in 2007.

Married Life

In 1968, Pratchett got married to Lyn Purves and in 1976 they had a daughter, Rhianna Pratchet. In 2012, Pratchett said that Rhianna, a writer for video games, would succeed him in handling Discworld series. However, said she was not interested in writing more books in this series.

Terry Pratchett’s Ideas on Religion

Pratchett stated that a rumor had been circulating about him finding God. Jokingly, he stated that this was not likely as he found it hard enough to find his keys and they undoubtedly existed.

He admitted however, that in a previous interview, he experienced a feeling that all that he was doing was appropriate and things were going as planned. He stated that some sections of our brain gave us a feeling of security. These were brought about by being very youthful and lying in bed with one’s parents, though other triggers exist also. He stated that he does not have a belief and will never have one.

However, he stated that he was raised traditionally in the Church of England. This signified that going to church was not in his family’s plans for Sabbath. However, literally each of the Ten Commandments was instinctively obeyed and reason, decency and kindness reigned. The question of belief never arose at home, even though appropriate behavior was taught by everyday example.

Terry Pratchett stated that maybe due to this; he has never disliked religion and considered it to have a purpose in people’s evolution.


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