With the next movie coming out this weekend, Harry Potter is all over the news. Here are some articles that focus on the religious themes within the series:
The Republic discusses J. K. Rowling’s use of Christian imagery and symbols to contrast to CHristian fundamentalists’ belief that the series encourages the occult.
Christianity Today has a feature article focusing on the literary genius of Rowling, showing how her works are instant classics that will live within our culture forever.
CNN’s religion blog has a post from Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, an Episcopal priest, who reflects on the “theology of Harry Potter,” claiming that Rowling is no heretic or secret witch because the fundamental theme throughout her books is that “God is love”. Read another article from Tumminio over at the Guardian, where she takes on the fundamentalist claims more forcefully. The problem with Tumminio’s argument is that she picks an easy target. No, the series does not encourage participation in the occult. But it does embrace certain Christian heresies such as Gnosticism — see, for example, Rowling’s explicit embrace of the gnostic worldview through the quote from William Penn, the Quaker pioneer and philosopher, which de-emphasized the significance of death. But this point shouldn’t lead people away from reading the series; it’s simply more interesting to discuss than the claims of fundamentalists in this regard.
But what do you think?