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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

One of the best articles I've read about Harry Potter and Christianity

And I'm not just saying that either because it's author, Jenna Olwin, is such a dear friend of ours. I mean, if she had written crap, I would not be mentioning it here even though she is a wonderful person. But the fact of the matter is, Jenna is a very good writer and she doesn't write crap, at all. That would be fully counter to her nature. She's too much an inherently awesome authoress, because she writes well and she's never failed to make me think about whatever the subject is in some new and fascinating way.

Well, for her contribution this time to Silhouette, the Christian blog that she collaborates on along with several others who are way out there on the upper-left corner of the Lower 48, Jenna writes about Harry Potter and Christianity. And the whole piece is just plain golden. Here's a snip from it...

I was one of the original cave-dwellers who never even heard of Harry Potter until the release of #4, and one of the suspicious types (ashamedly) who attended a church showing of Jeremiah Films' Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged. When I picked up that first book, I fully expected to be bothered by dark thoughts and horrified by pagan ideas. Instead, I found a kinship to Harry and companions that took me through the story in less than two days, kept me reading and re-reading sections all week and made me hardly willing to return it to the library even to get the sequel.

My week with the first book proved to me that the Harry Potter stories are not about witchcraft. Nor does the backdrop of magical imagery bear any real connection with actuality. Harry Potter is to wizardry what Tim Allen's Galaxy Quest is to space travel: fiction based on fiction. The forms of Harry's magic—wands, brooms, cauldrons, spells, charms, etc.—may be traced to a wide selection of pagan spiritualities, but the use of those items is drawn from magical fantasy and fairy tale, and J.K. Rowling obviously took care to keep religion out of it. Rowling also pokes sly fun at some of it, having her characters use things like leech juice and beetle eyes in potions, and she openly mocks the "imprecise" art of Divination ...

There's much more at the link, including some stuff that I don't dare quote here 'cuz I don't want to steal Jenna's well-earned thunder from this one. It really is one of the clearest and succinct article discussing Christianity and Harry Potter that I've found anywhere, anywhen.


Jenna St.Hilaire said...

Chris, thanks for such a great review! I'm so glad you liked my piece--quite a lot of feeling went into it. You just totally made my day :-D