Difference between revisions of "Harry Potter"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(Series titles)
(Undo revision 1684862 by Trump4EvA (talk))
 
(96 intermediate revisions by 52 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[Image:67486ruy.jpg|right|thumb|British edition of '''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'''.]]
+
[[Image:67486ruy.jpg|right|thumb|British edition of '''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone'''.]]
The '''''Harry Potter''''' books are a hugely popular<ref> The author has sold 350 million books and counting, been translated into 65 languages and had her work made into highly successful movies. [http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=3811481&page=1 ABC News] </ref> series of seven fantasy novels by [[J.K. Rowling]] about three children at a British boarding school for 'witchcraft and wizardry': Harry, Ron and Hermione. The children grow from age 11 to 17 in the books, giving them appeal to a broad range of readers including children and teenagers, but also appealing to adults.  
+
The '''''Harry Potter''''' books are a hugely popular<ref>The author has sold 350 million books and counting, been translated into 65 languages and had her work made into highly successful movies. [https://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=3811481&page=1 ABC News]</ref> series of seven fantasy novels by [[J.K. Rowling]] about three children at a British boarding school for 'witchcraft and wizardry': Harry, Ron and Hermione. The children grow from age 11 to 17 in the books, giving them appeal to a broad range of readers including children and teenagers, but also appealing to adults. Since their release, interest and acceptance of withcraft has increased, particularly among the goth subculture, and many rides and attractions centered around the books are causing children to accept and admire witchcraft and magic.
 
    
 
    
 
==Harry Potter==
 
==Harry Potter==
Line 7: Line 7:
 
When Harry was a mere baby, his parents were murdered by the evil [[Voldemort]].  Harry didn't know that his parents were [[wizard (fiction)|wizard]]s until his 11th birthday; it came as a giant surprise. [[Hagrid]] took him to [[Diagon Alley]] for robes, books and wand; then on to [[Hogwarts]], a boarding school for wizards and witches. He had many adventures there learning [[magic]] and using it to fight the forces of the [[Voldemort|wizard]] who killed his [[parent]]s when he was an [[infant]]. Lord Voldemort seeks to become immortal by any means. Voldemort also leads forces of "Death Eaters" who follow Voldemort's ideology of a "pure-blood" (wizard who was born to wizard parents) society and persecute Muggles, non-magical folk. Along the way, Harry learns about life and [[death]] and grapples with questions of [[morality]] and [[friendship]].  
 
When Harry was a mere baby, his parents were murdered by the evil [[Voldemort]].  Harry didn't know that his parents were [[wizard (fiction)|wizard]]s until his 11th birthday; it came as a giant surprise. [[Hagrid]] took him to [[Diagon Alley]] for robes, books and wand; then on to [[Hogwarts]], a boarding school for wizards and witches. He had many adventures there learning [[magic]] and using it to fight the forces of the [[Voldemort|wizard]] who killed his [[parent]]s when he was an [[infant]]. Lord Voldemort seeks to become immortal by any means. Voldemort also leads forces of "Death Eaters" who follow Voldemort's ideology of a "pure-blood" (wizard who was born to wizard parents) society and persecute Muggles, non-magical folk. Along the way, Harry learns about life and [[death]] and grapples with questions of [[morality]] and [[friendship]].  
  
The seven books in the series have been fabulously successful, selling 300 million copies, and ''[[Forbes]]'' estimates that they have made Rowling the first billion-dollar [[author]] in history.<ref>[http://www.forbes.com/maserati/billionaires2004/cx_jw_0226rowlingbill04.html J. K. Rowling And The Billion-Dollar Empire].</ref> To date, five of them have been made into movies, the sixth to begin filming September 2007.
+
The seven books in the series have been fabulously successful, selling 300 million copies, and ''[[Forbes]]'' estimates that they have made Rowling the first billion-dollar author in history.<ref>[https://www.forbes.com/maserati/billionaires2004/cx_jw_0226rowlingbill04.html J. K. Rowling And The Billion-Dollar Empire].</ref> All of them have been made into movies, with the last book being split into two separate films.
  
The ''Harry Potter'' series of [[book]]s are sizable volumes. The 870 pages of ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'', even though printed in large type, contain 255,000 words&mdash;about twice as long as ''A Tale of Two Cities''. The "Lexile" measure of reading level puts the series between 880L and 950L,<ref>For comparison: ''Charlotte's Web'' 680L, ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' 890L, ''Moby Dick'' 1200L</ref> comparable to sixth-grade texts<ref>[http://www.lexile.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?view=fa&tabindex=4&tabid=22 The Lexile framework for reading].</ref>
+
The ''Harry Potter'' series of books are sizable volumes. The 870 pages of ''Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'', even though printed in large type, contain 255,000 words&mdash;about twice as long as ''A Tale of Two Cities''. The "Lexile" measure of reading level puts the series between 880L and 950L,<ref>For comparison: ''Charlotte's Web'' 680L, ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' 890L, ''Moby Dick'' 1200L</ref> comparable to sixth-grade texts<ref>[http://www.lexile.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?view=fa&tabindex=4&tabid=22 The Lexile framework for reading].</ref>
 +
 
 +
== Popularizing the Occult and Mockery of Christianity ==
  
== Christian Theme in ''Harry Potter'' ==
 
 
{{spoiler}}
 
{{spoiler}}
 +
Many conservative Christians have attacked the books. Most mainline Protestant and Catholic leaders have taken a more favorable position. For example, the official organization of American Catholic bishops (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) has rated each film "A-II", --that is, suitable for adults and adolescents and was not found to be morally offensive.The episcopal conference even named the film adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" one of the ten best family films of 2004.
  
Despite some criticism from mainline Christians who oppose ''Harry Potter'' for allegedly endorsing witchcraft, the series includes some aspects that parallel Christianity.  Harry's death and rebirth at the end of Book VII (''Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows'') can be seen as mirroring the rebirth of [[Christ]]. Just as the savior of humanity was reborn, so Harry Potter, as the fictional savior of the magical world, is reborn.  Further, this rebirth carries a special, significant guardianship trait: as Christ died to forgive the sins of humanity, resulting in salvation for all mankind, so Harry's death grants a protective magic to himself and to his friends.  It could be said that ''Harry Potter'' teaches the nobility of meaningful sacrifice. No similar traces of Christian allegory can be found in the first six books, only in the final chapters of the seventh.
+
However conservative critics have charged that the books have the potential of driving children away from Christian knowledge of good and evil toward the occult more than anything else in western society: "a generation of children is becoming desensitized to the occult. But with Hollywood's help, Harry Potter will likely surpass all these influences, potentially reaping some grave spiritual consequences"<ref>http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html</ref> Hollywood never filmed any of the books, every Harry Potter movie is British and very family-friendly without references to any alleged occultism.
 +
 +
Witchcraft is expressly forbidden by the Old Testament.  
  
An alternate interpretation of the Harry Potter books is that the villain, Tom Marvolo Riddle, is himself  a parody of the Trinity. <ref>http://www.exposingsatanism.org/harrypotter2.htm</ref> In this reading of the books, the "villains" are analogues for Christ, the Trinity and named angels and prophets. His battles with Harry and the magical world are meant to depict God being thwarted by witchcraft and paganism.
+
Some Fundamentalists have praised the moral values of the books. For example, Scott Moore, philosophy professor at Baylor University, has found some remarkable Christian symbolism in the Potter series.
  
==Praise==
+
James L. Evans, pastor of Crosscreek Baptist Church, concludes, "Instead of condemning Harry, maybe we should learn courage from him to name as evil what apparently we are afraid to speak."<ref>Jim Evans, [http://www.ethicsdaily.com/news.php?viewStory=2737 "Harry Potter As Teacher Of Christian Values" ''EthicsDaily.com'' June 24, 2003]</ref>
{{spoiler}}
+
  
The Harry Potter series has earned a lot of praise for some (but not all) of the moral messages it conveys to readers. A theme throughout the series is Hermione Granger's fight to acheive equal rights for non-wizards, house elves in particular. However, the books also snub political correctness, shown when Hermione tries to free the house elves working at Hogwarts to no avail, who are happy and content with their job. While Hermione's attempt to raise house elves to equal status with wizards is praiseworthy, her attempts to 'free' house elves at the price of their own happiness is not.
+
Conservative Christians say the ''Harry Potter'' series is written in a way that embeds fantasy and wizardry into a real world setting. This could potentially lead to some children exploring witchcraft, Wicca, and paganism. Indeed, the Pagan Federation in Britain has received a flood of inquiries from young ''Harry Potter'' fans.<ref>About.com: Agnosticism/Atheism - [http://atheism.about.com/od/harrypotter/i/witchcraft_2.htm Does Harry Potter Promote Wicca or Witchcraft? Is Harry Potter a Pagan Book?] (page 2)</ref>
  
The books also encourage readers to turn away from the temptation of evil. Throughout the series Harry is shown to have powers viewed as dark and evil, including a direct link to Voldemort's mind. Despite this, however, he is never tempted to become evil himself as Dumbledore thought he might.
+
The children's fantasy genre and slick storytelling style may make the danger more severe, say conservatives: "This is a true representation of witchcraft, and the black arts, and black magic. And yet we have people that say this is merely fantasy and harmless reading for our children. Actually, what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and children's literature, and made to be humorous, and beautifully written and extremely provocative reading. And it just opens up children to want to have the next one. This is what is so harmful."<ref>http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html</ref>
  
 
==Criticisms==
 
==Criticisms==
Line 29: Line 32:
 
The ''Harry Potter'' series is written in a way that embeds fantasy and wizardry into a real world setting. This could potentially lead to some children potentially exploring witchcraft, Wicca, and paganism. Indeed, the Pagan Federation in Britain has received a flood of inquiries from young ''Harry Potter'' fans.<ref>About.com: Agnosticism/Atheism - [http://atheism.about.com/od/harrypotter/i/witchcraft_2.htm Does Harry Potter Promote Wicca or Witchcraft? Is Harry Potter a Pagan Book?] (page 2)</ref>
 
The ''Harry Potter'' series is written in a way that embeds fantasy and wizardry into a real world setting. This could potentially lead to some children potentially exploring witchcraft, Wicca, and paganism. Indeed, the Pagan Federation in Britain has received a flood of inquiries from young ''Harry Potter'' fans.<ref>About.com: Agnosticism/Atheism - [http://atheism.about.com/od/harrypotter/i/witchcraft_2.htm Does Harry Potter Promote Wicca or Witchcraft? Is Harry Potter a Pagan Book?] (page 2)</ref>
  
The [[Catholic Church]] has taken a more neutral positionIn 2003, a Vatican representative said the books, "aren't serving as the banner for an anti-Christian theology.... I don't think there's anyone in this room who grew up without fairies, magic, and angels in their imaginary world." <ref>Sink, Mindy (2003), "The Split Verdict on Harry Potter,"
+
Some expect children's literature to present characters that are role models and teach simple truths that will help children grow and know the difference between right and wrongHowever, the world of ''Harry Potter'' is one in which adult authority figures are complex, imperfect, and occasionally ludicrous. Some teachers in the series are boring, or outright incompetent, while others are supportive and protective (like [[Dumbledore]] and [[Lupin]]). In the first book Harry disobeys the teachers and is successful and later praised, a questionable message for younger minds.
''The New York Times,'' March 8, 2003, p. B6; representative quoted is Rev. Don Peter Fleetwood, who "helped draft a Vatican document on New Age phenomena."</ref>
+
  
Some expect children's literature to present characters that are role models and teach simple truths that will help children grow and know the difference between right and wrong. However, the world of ''Harry Potter'' is one in which adult authority figures are complex, imperfect, and occasionally ludicrous. Some teachers in the series are boring, or outright incompetent, while others are supportive and protective (like [[Dumbledore]] and [[Lupin]]).  In the first book Harry disobeys the teachers and is successful and later praised, a questionable message for younger minds.
+
The books also present witches and wizards as being both normal people and abundant. This deceit causes children to likewise accept magic and witchcraft as normal, and they identify with the children in the books, again furthering their acceptance and witchcraft.
 
+
==Literary Criticisms==
+
{{spoiler}}
+
 
+
It is also possible to accuse the author of poor planning or writing. Throughout the series a constant theme is the almost criminal incompetence of the Ministry of Magic. We are told at various stages throughout the book that some of Voldemorts followers managed to escape justice by lying to the courts that they were controlled by the Imperius curse. However, in book four it is revealed that there is a potion which forces the victim to tell the truth. Why, therefore, didn't the Ministry use this potion on the defendants to find out if they were really controlled or not? This would have led to their imprisonment, preventing them from assisting Voldemort to return to full strength. The use of this potion would also have allowed the Ministry to find out about Peter Pettigrew's betrayal, perhaps leading to his arrest and preventing him from assisting Voldemort to regain his strength (Pettigrew was the man who found Voldemort and nursed him back to a state of health from which it was possible for him to prepare for his rise to power). It is possible that J K Rowling had not thought of this potion at the start of the series, causing her to introduce a near Deus-Ex-Machina miracle on behalf of the evil side.
+
  
 
==Notable Ban Attempts==
 
==Notable Ban Attempts==
  
On the week of April 10, 2006, Georgia mother of four Laura Mallory filed an appeal with the Gwinnett Board of Education in an attempt to remove the ''Harry Potter'' series from Gwinnett schools. Ms. Mallory (who has only read excerpts of the books) stated on the appeal form that she wished the books removed due to their "evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this."<ref>[http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=32&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=14074&change_well_id=2]</ref>  The local board of education denied the request, as they felt the banning of ''Harry Potter'' would necessitate the banning of all books with reference to witches, including plays like ''[[Macbeth]]'' and even stories like [[Cinderella]].<ref>[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15127464/ Georgia mom seeks ban on Harry Potter]</ref>  Ms. Mallory has since appealed the ruling twice to no avail.<ref>[http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=5022462&nav=8fap]</ref> <ref>[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16204853/from/]</ref> <ref>[http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/011807dnentpotterprotest.a89cec.html]</ref>
+
On the week of April 10, 2006, Georgia mother of four Laura Mallory filed an appeal with the Gwinnett Board of Education in an attempt to remove the ''Harry Potter'' series from Gwinnett schools. Ms. Mallory (who has only read excerpts of the books) stated on the appeal form that she wished the books removed due to their "evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this."<ref>[http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=32&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=14074&change_well_id=2]</ref>  The local board of education denied the request, as they felt the banning of ''Harry Potter'' would necessitate the banning of all books with reference to witches, including plays like ''[[Macbeth]]'' and even stories like [[Cinderella]].<ref>[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15127464/ Georgia mom seeks ban on Harry Potter]</ref>  Ms. Mallory has since appealed the ruling twice to no avail.<ref>[http://www.wtvm.com/Global/story.asp?S=5022462&nav=8fap]</ref><ref>[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16204853/from/]</ref><ref>[https://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/011807dnentpotterprotest.a89cec.html]</ref>
  
 
Similar concerns have been voiced by Christian cartoonist [[Jack Chick]], pastor and author [[Dave Hunt]], the British group [[Christian Voice]] and various others. None of these has resulted in any form of legal action.
 
Similar concerns have been voiced by Christian cartoonist [[Jack Chick]], pastor and author [[Dave Hunt]], the British group [[Christian Voice]] and various others. None of these has resulted in any form of legal action.
  
 
==Series titles==
 
==Series titles==
*''[[Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone]]'' (original title as published in England and all other English-speaking countries other than U.S.A: ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'')
+
*''[[Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone]]'' (original title as published in England and all other English-speaking countries other than the USA: ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'')
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban]]''
Line 54: Line 51:
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]''
 
*''[[Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]''
  
Also, three companion books have been made to go along with the series: ''The Tale of the Beedle the Bard'', ''Quidditch Through the Ages'', and ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them''. ''Quidditch Through the Ages'' and ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' are both written under pen names, but all three are written by J.K. Rowling. <ref>www.jkrowling.org</ref>
+
Also, three companion books have been made to go along with the series: ''The Tale of the Beedle the Bard'', ''Quidditch Through the Ages'', and ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them''. ''Quidditch Through the Ages'' and ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' are both written under pen names, but all three are written by J.K. Rowling.<ref>http://www.jkrowling.org</ref> All books have been filmed. The spin-off ''Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'' is being filmed as a trilogy. The first movie was released into cinemas in November 2016, and the second one ''Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'' in November 2018.
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
*[[Harry Potter Witchcraft Repackaged]]
 +
 
 +
==Further reading==
 +
* Brown, Nancy Carpentier. ''The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide'' (2007) [https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Harry-Potter-Catholic-Family/dp/1592763987/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254259810&sr=1-4 excerpt and text search]
 +
* Cherrett, Lisa. "Harry Potter and the Bible" (2003) [http://www.harrypotterforseekers.com/articles/hpandthebible.php online version]
 +
* Cockrell, Amanda. "Harry Potter and the Witch Hunters: a Social Context for the Attacks on 'Harry Potter'", ''Journal of American Culture'' 2006 29(1): 24–30, in [[EBSCO]]
 +
* Colbert, David. ''The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter'' (2nd ed. 2008) [https://www.amazon.com/Magical-Worlds-Harry-Potter-revised/dp/0425223183/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263210737&sr=1-20 excerpt and text search]
 +
* Granger, John. ''Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader''  (2007) [https://www.amazon.com/Unlocking-Harry-Potter-Serious-Reader/dp/0972322124/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263211376&sr=1-27 excerpt and text search]
 +
* Granger, John. ''Looking for God in Harry Potter'' (2006) [https://www.amazon.com/How-Harry-Cast-His-Spell/dp/1414321880/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254259810&sr=1-3 excerpt and text search, 2nd edition under ''How Harry Cast His Spell'']
 +
*  Heilman,  Elizabeth E., ed. ''Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter'' (2nd. ed. 2008) [https://www.amazon.com/Critical-Perspectives-Potter-Elizabeth-Heilman/dp/0415964849/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263211512&sr=1-1 excerpt and text search]
 +
* Neal, Connie W. ''The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World's Greatest Seeker''  (2008) [https://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Harry-Potter-Spiritual/dp/0664231233/ref=sr_1_33?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1263211376&sr=1-33 excerpt and text search]
 +
* Thomas,  James W. ''Repotting Harry Potter: A Professor's Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader'' (2009)
 +
*  Whited,  Lana A., ed. ''The Ivory Tower And Harry Potter: Perspectives On A Literary Phenomenon'' (2002) [https://www.amazon.com/Ivory-Tower-Harry-Potter-Perspectives/dp/0826215491/ref=pd_sim_b_1 excerpt and text search]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
Line 62: Line 74:
 
[[Category:Novels]]
 
[[Category:Novels]]
 
[[Category:Ghost Stories]]
 
[[Category:Ghost Stories]]
 +
[[Category:Books]]
 +
[[Category:Science Fiction Movies]]
 +
[[Category:Fantasy]]
 +
[[Category:Fiction]]
 +
[[Category:Movies]]
 +
[[Category:Novels]]
 +
[[Category:Science Fiction]]
 +
[[Category:Witchcraft]]
 +
[[Category:Liberal Fiction]]

Latest revision as of 19:56, 10 September 2020

British edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone.

The Harry Potter books are a hugely popular[1] series of seven fantasy novels by J.K. Rowling about three children at a British boarding school for 'witchcraft and wizardry': Harry, Ron and Hermione. The children grow from age 11 to 17 in the books, giving them appeal to a broad range of readers including children and teenagers, but also appealing to adults. Since their release, interest and acceptance of withcraft has increased, particularly among the goth subculture, and many rides and attractions centered around the books are causing children to accept and admire witchcraft and magic.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter is the protagonist and the plot of each book focuses on Harry's adolescence and fight against the antagonist wizard Lord Voldemort. The books combine elements of whimsy reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, the strange adult immaturity of Through the Looking Glass, and the implacable good vs. evil fight of The Lord of the Rings.

When Harry was a mere baby, his parents were murdered by the evil Voldemort. Harry didn't know that his parents were wizards until his 11th birthday; it came as a giant surprise. Hagrid took him to Diagon Alley for robes, books and wand; then on to Hogwarts, a boarding school for wizards and witches. He had many adventures there learning magic and using it to fight the forces of the wizard who killed his parents when he was an infant. Lord Voldemort seeks to become immortal by any means. Voldemort also leads forces of "Death Eaters" who follow Voldemort's ideology of a "pure-blood" (wizard who was born to wizard parents) society and persecute Muggles, non-magical folk. Along the way, Harry learns about life and death and grapples with questions of morality and friendship.

The seven books in the series have been fabulously successful, selling 300 million copies, and Forbes estimates that they have made Rowling the first billion-dollar author in history.[2] All of them have been made into movies, with the last book being split into two separate films.

The Harry Potter series of books are sizable volumes. The 870 pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, even though printed in large type, contain 255,000 words—about twice as long as A Tale of Two Cities. The "Lexile" measure of reading level puts the series between 880L and 950L,[3] comparable to sixth-grade texts[4]

Popularizing the Occult and Mockery of Christianity

Spoiler warning
This article contains important plot information

Many conservative Christians have attacked the books. Most mainline Protestant and Catholic leaders have taken a more favorable position. For example, the official organization of American Catholic bishops (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) has rated each film "A-II", --that is, suitable for adults and adolescents and was not found to be morally offensive.The episcopal conference even named the film adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" one of the ten best family films of 2004.

However conservative critics have charged that the books have the potential of driving children away from Christian knowledge of good and evil toward the occult more than anything else in western society: "a generation of children is becoming desensitized to the occult. But with Hollywood's help, Harry Potter will likely surpass all these influences, potentially reaping some grave spiritual consequences"[5] Hollywood never filmed any of the books, every Harry Potter movie is British and very family-friendly without references to any alleged occultism.

Witchcraft is expressly forbidden by the Old Testament.

Some Fundamentalists have praised the moral values of the books. For example, Scott Moore, philosophy professor at Baylor University, has found some remarkable Christian symbolism in the Potter series.

James L. Evans, pastor of Crosscreek Baptist Church, concludes, "Instead of condemning Harry, maybe we should learn courage from him to name as evil what apparently we are afraid to speak."[6]

Conservative Christians say the Harry Potter series is written in a way that embeds fantasy and wizardry into a real world setting. This could potentially lead to some children exploring witchcraft, Wicca, and paganism. Indeed, the Pagan Federation in Britain has received a flood of inquiries from young Harry Potter fans.[7]

The children's fantasy genre and slick storytelling style may make the danger more severe, say conservatives: "This is a true representation of witchcraft, and the black arts, and black magic. And yet we have people that say this is merely fantasy and harmless reading for our children. Actually, what makes this more dangerous is that it is couched in fantasy language, and children's literature, and made to be humorous, and beautifully written and extremely provocative reading. And it just opens up children to want to have the next one. This is what is so harmful."[8]

Criticisms

The Harry Potter series is written in a way that embeds fantasy and wizardry into a real world setting. This could potentially lead to some children potentially exploring witchcraft, Wicca, and paganism. Indeed, the Pagan Federation in Britain has received a flood of inquiries from young Harry Potter fans.[9]

Some expect children's literature to present characters that are role models and teach simple truths that will help children grow and know the difference between right and wrong. However, the world of Harry Potter is one in which adult authority figures are complex, imperfect, and occasionally ludicrous. Some teachers in the series are boring, or outright incompetent, while others are supportive and protective (like Dumbledore and Lupin). In the first book Harry disobeys the teachers and is successful and later praised, a questionable message for younger minds.

The books also present witches and wizards as being both normal people and abundant. This deceit causes children to likewise accept magic and witchcraft as normal, and they identify with the children in the books, again furthering their acceptance and witchcraft.

Notable Ban Attempts

On the week of April 10, 2006, Georgia mother of four Laura Mallory filed an appeal with the Gwinnett Board of Education in an attempt to remove the Harry Potter series from Gwinnett schools. Ms. Mallory (who has only read excerpts of the books) stated on the appeal form that she wished the books removed due to their "evil themes, witchcraft, demonic activity, murder, evil blood sacrifice, spells and teaching children all of this."[10] The local board of education denied the request, as they felt the banning of Harry Potter would necessitate the banning of all books with reference to witches, including plays like Macbeth and even stories like Cinderella.[11] Ms. Mallory has since appealed the ruling twice to no avail.[12][13][14]

Similar concerns have been voiced by Christian cartoonist Jack Chick, pastor and author Dave Hunt, the British group Christian Voice and various others. None of these has resulted in any form of legal action.

Series titles

Also, three companion books have been made to go along with the series: The Tale of the Beedle the Bard, Quidditch Through the Ages, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are both written under pen names, but all three are written by J.K. Rowling.[15] All books have been filmed. The spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being filmed as a trilogy. The first movie was released into cinemas in November 2016, and the second one Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in November 2018.

See also

Further reading

  • Brown, Nancy Carpentier. The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Cherrett, Lisa. "Harry Potter and the Bible" (2003) online version
  • Cockrell, Amanda. "Harry Potter and the Witch Hunters: a Social Context for the Attacks on 'Harry Potter'", Journal of American Culture 2006 29(1): 24–30, in EBSCO
  • Colbert, David. The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter (2nd ed. 2008) excerpt and text search
  • Granger, John. Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Granger, John. Looking for God in Harry Potter (2006) excerpt and text search, 2nd edition under How Harry Cast His Spell
  • Heilman, Elizabeth E., ed. Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter (2nd. ed. 2008) excerpt and text search
  • Neal, Connie W. The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World's Greatest Seeker (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Thomas, James W. Repotting Harry Potter: A Professor's Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader (2009)
  • Whited, Lana A., ed. The Ivory Tower And Harry Potter: Perspectives On A Literary Phenomenon (2002) excerpt and text search

References

  1. The author has sold 350 million books and counting, been translated into 65 languages and had her work made into highly successful movies. ABC News
  2. J. K. Rowling And The Billion-Dollar Empire.
  3. For comparison: Charlotte's Web 680L, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 890L, Moby Dick 1200L
  4. The Lexile framework for reading.
  5. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html
  6. Jim Evans, "Harry Potter As Teacher Of Christian Values" EthicsDaily.com June 24, 2003
  7. About.com: Agnosticism/Atheism - Does Harry Potter Promote Wicca or Witchcraft? Is Harry Potter a Pagan Book? (page 2)
  8. http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/harrypotter.html
  9. About.com: Agnosticism/Atheism - Does Harry Potter Promote Wicca or Witchcraft? Is Harry Potter a Pagan Book? (page 2)
  10. [1]
  11. Georgia mom seeks ban on Harry Potter
  12. [2]
  13. [3]
  14. [4]
  15. http://www.jkrowling.org