Colin McEnroe Show: What's Harry Potter's Theology?

Readers argue there's a religious subtext to J.K. Rowling's novels ...

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Colin McEnroe Show: What's Harry Potter's Theology?
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Colin McEnroe Show: What's Harry Potter's Theology?

Harry Potter's little secret is that deep in his heart he's a nice Episcopalian boy. A closet acolyte.

I know there's a whole tripwire about wizards and warlocks, but if you can get past that, it's hard to see what kind of problems conventional family values Christians could possibly have with the Harry Potter series. In fact, one of the ways Harry Potter disappoints is in how little he ever departs from bedrock middle class morality. He has to be one of the least rebellious adolescents ever to walk the earth. (I know, I know, there's a kind of stagey rebelliousness written into his part, but it's not even remotely transgressive or convincing.)

If you want a sense of what Harry Potter would be like without his nice Episcopalian Sunday school values, read The Magicians by Lev Grossman, which about wizards with a much more fungible value system and bad habits to boot.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.


  

Comments

good book

I started reading Harry Potter as a college sophmore while I was working at school during one of the holiday breaks. JKR wrote a very beautiful, complex and entertaining book for all ages. A book that allows her main character to experience love & loss. To deal with issues, and not try to avoid them, that are present in our lives everyday. The character grows with each book and so does the reader. It is, and rightfully so, a timeless novel. ** To pskahill: Are you sure you picked up an HP book?

E-mail from Sara

I have made several attempts to read Harry Potter only to find that I can not get past the poor writing and unoriginal good versus evil content. The success of Harry Potter is not natural. I propose that Rowling met with the devil at some of those Scottish coffee houses and sold her soul for a latte and book deal. Somewhere there exist a contract written on a napkin between the dark overlord and Lucifer. I curse the day that these two met and will forever live in fear that Harry Potter will never end.