2018 Update: I’ve republished this book under the much more mature and sophisticated title “Gods of Myth and Man: The History of Religious Mythology.“
Discover the Surprising Parallels that Expose the Truth about the Historical Jesus, the Mythical Nature of Biblical Literature, and the Secret Origins of Christianity.
Jesus Potter Harry Christ uses the similarities between Jesus and Harry to re-open the debate over the historical Jesus, arguing that both Harry and Jesus are spiritual metaphors told in the literary form of historical fiction. With hundreds of footnotes and references from both ancient mythology and modern culture, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a fresh and arresting account of Christian history that is not predicated on the flesh and bones of a historical founder. From ancient mystery religions to modern fairy tales, from fictional Hogwarts to the ruins of Jerusalem, Derek Murphy, PhD in Comparative Literature at one of the world’s top universities, zooms in on one crucial question: How do we separate the obviously mythical literature of Jesus Christ from the historical man himself?
“Controversial, and full of fascinating, insufficiently disseminated information.” –Heresy Corner
“Riveting and extremely enjoyable.” –IndieReader.com
“I am not paying false flattery when I say that this book is easily one of the best that I have read on the subject of the historical Jesus.” –Pastor Chris, Pacific Haven Liberation Ministries
JPHC won an award for best religious non-fiction of 2011, and the international rights were sold to a major publisher.
At first glance it may seem that J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard and the crucified Jesus prophet who became the Christian savior have absolutely nothing to do with each other – and yet the unease and sometimes outright animosity between the followers of these two figures suggests otherwise. Harry has been banned, burned, and abused by religious fundamentalists for over a decade. However, at the release of Rowling’s final book (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows) many readers were surprised to discover parallels between Jesus and Harry that, in such apparently diverse world-views, had no right to be there. As a result, recent years have witnessed a revolution in Christian responses to Harry, with many groups, writers and religious leaders praising Rowling’s young sorcerer as ultimately Christian and a clear metaphor for Jesus Christ. But where do these apparent similarities come from? Critics argue that Harry Potter is only borrowing from universal mythological symbols, but if this is true, can Jesus be accused of the same? Could the similarities between Harry Potter and Jesus Christ have resulted from Christianity’s inclusion of mythological motifs, rather than Harry Potter’s inclusion of biblical ones?
After exploring the religious controversy surrounding the Harry Potter series and tracing the similarities between Jesus and Harry, Jesus Potter Harry Christ dives into ancient mythology, astrology, gnosticism, and Christian history, to see if Jesus can be distinguished from Harry based on the claim that Jesus was a real historic figure, while Harry Potter is obviously a fable. Just how much of the gospel accounts of Jesus are based on pre-existing mythology? Can we find the historical founder of Christianity by removing the mythology from around him? Is there reliable evidence that Jesus Christ was a historical person?
Praise for Jesus Potter Harry Christ:
“Particularly absorbing and highly topical: namely, the idea that nothing substantially separates Jesus of Nazareth from Harry Potter except that most human beings believe in the historical reality of the former. Instead, both figures entertain astonishingly parallel personality traits that derive from universal myths. In many ways, the real heart (of the book) seems to be the analysis of early Christianity as being a mystery religion, and, interestingly, one designed to include the Jewish religion within the surrounding Greco-Roman cults. Importantly, the author locates St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians as the site of “communicative decay that lead to the literalist misinterpretation of the Jesus myth.” As part of the continuing debate over the nature of Christ, not only among Christians but between them and today’s wave of atheist thinkers, Jesus Potter, Harry Christ is timely. Linking this analysis, moreover, to J. K. Rowling’s globally popular character further heightens its relevancy.” Jeff Crouse, Ph.D – Parmenides
“This is probably the first time a book encapsulates the works of contemporary mythicists such as G.A. Wells, Timothy Freke, Tom Harpur, Acharya S., Earl Doherty, and Robert Price. Whether one has a basic inkling or a profound knowledge of the syncretic casserole that spawned the world’s largest religion, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a valuable compendium. Murphy bares a scalpel intellect in his first scholarly venture, dissecting the figure of Jesus Christ while peeling open the wonderful tales the other rising-dying godmen that once upon a time captivated pagan audiences across western civilization. Murphy never explicitly denies the historicity of Jesus Christ, but indicates that he has been basically swallowed whole by imagination and legendry. Miguel Conner, Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio
“My initial response to reading the title was that this was a joke of some sort. But I encourage anyone interested in the gospels and Jesus as literature to read the content below and see that it does seek to be a serious contribution to an understanding of the literary and mythical character of Jesus. Neither is this a slur against Christianity. The author rightly explains that the fictional nature of characters does not detract from the positive influence that character can have on those who love them. The author also answers pertinent questions about his rationale for writing such a book, the status, history and grounds of Jesus-mythicism. I particularly like the main idea of this book: Our question then is not whether Jesus Christ existed, but whether the literary character recorded in the New Testament was primarily inspired by a historical figure or previous literary traditions and characters.” Neil Godfrey
Publisher: Holy Blasphemy
Number of Pages: 490
Publication Date: 2/15/2011