Danielle Tumminio, the Author of “God and Harry Potter at Yale” has posted an article at Huffingtonpost.com about Harry Potter and Christianity. I’m jealous, because the article is basically a timely tease for her book – and I’d love my own Huffpost article but haven’t figured out how to exploit the system for self-promotion. (With the release of Deathly Hallows 2 next week, I think a lot of people will be searching for more info about the relationship between Jesus and Harry Potter or JK Rowling’s Christian influences).
So instead I merely posted the following comment:
“There are over a dozen books already out there which compare Jesus to Harry Potter and conclude that HP is only a pale shadow to the glorious Son of God; so the author’s book (for which this article was a shameless plug) and Yale course are not that exciting. Yes, Jesus and Harry Potter have a lot in common, and if you don’t look too closely and let the brilliance of Jesus blind you to more complex issues, you can focus on things like “love” and “friendship” and conclude that Harry Potter is a Christian Narrative. However when you get into the details, and realize that the literary construction/fictional character of Harry Potter and his magical abilities, his willing sacrifice, death and resurrection parallel the Jesus story so precisely, it begins to become more difficult to distinguish Jesus from Harry. Why are Jesus’ miracles historical while Harry’s magic is fantasy? Why is Harry Potter, as many commenters have noted, “simply one of hundreds of dying and resurrecting savior figures” that are common in mythology, while Jesus is (the only one) to have really ever come back from the dead? The truth – that is overlooked by nearly every “Jesus is Harry Potter book” (which are written by Christians who hope to cash in on Harry Potter’s success and spread the gospel to people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested) – is that Harry Potter and Jesus Christ are both literary characters re-forging ancient mythology into a novel cultural context. Neither are “real” historically; both are fables told using historical narrative. The topic of Jesus/Harry Potter is crucial, relevant and fascinating… but the watered-down, evangelical treatment that it is being given will only be of interest to Christians seeking to bulwark their faith.”