Harry Potter As A Reflection Of Christian Faith Essay

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Rowling's series of fantasy novels "Harry Potter" have had a strong impact on the contemporary society and on how people perceived fantasy novels in general. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is the seventh and final book from the series and it has generated much controversy with regard to how it tends to step away from attitudes promoted in its predecessors by introducing several Christian references. This came as a surprise for many of the series' readers, as some were inclined to believe that Rowling had introduced ideas related to witchcraft and the occult. Individuals who are familiar with Christian traditions are probable to associate many events in the books with particular Christian concepts. Many readers are likely to find that the last book in the Harry Potter franchise is meant to play an important role in spiritually uplifting them and that it is generally intended to put across a series of moral ideas in relationship to Christianity.

One can find many parallels between biblical characters and characters in Rowling's text, as there are several similarities between Harry and Jesus, Dumbledore and God, Harry's friends and the disciples, Voldemort and Satan, and Professor Snape and the apostle Paul. Rowling has gone as far as to create a fictional world meant to provide readers with a more complex understanding concerning the life of Jesus, the connection between people and divinity, and a multitude of personalities in the Bible.

Harry is shown as a character that is easily distinguishable from other individuals and his tendency to trust ideas that most people would ignore further contributes to him seeming to be different. "Just as Harry believed in what he could not see, and was prompted to obey even odd-sounding instructions, likewise those who believe God's word will obey it and will follow the path of those who went before us into God's kingdom." (Neal 21)

The books emphasize Harry's determination to resist evil by relating to how he would be a very good wizard if he were to join the Slytherin community. However, the protagonist...

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"Perhaps he was destined for Gryffindor all along, chosen before he ever sat on the stool, but the hat wanted to give him the chance to exercise his own will by choosing to resist evil." (Neal 23) This character appears to be predestined to fulfill a great calling and constantly chooses to reject evil in spite of the fact that he is provided with numerous occasions to do so. Some might even say that he has a complex understanding of the situation that he is in and decides to refrain from choosing evil and the numerous apparent benefits that can come along with him doing this.
The fact that Harry chose to be a part of the Gryffindor community can be understood from a Christian perspective by considering the context of being chosen through God's grace. The concept of free will as being characteristic to Christians also contributes to reinforcing the idea that Rowling wanted to show Harry as a person who was provided with the chance to choose whether or not he wanted to connect with divinity.

While some simply regard the Harry Potter series as being Rowling's attempt to provide her readers with the opportunity to learn more about the Bible by focusing on a more modern description of the text, others have gone even further and have been inclined to believe that there is actually a spiritual force behind these books -- one that is meant to reach out to individuals and make it possible for them to first acknowledge the importance of believing and to then connect with the divine (Wohlberg 27). This leads to a series of questions with regard to what exactly might be fueling the books' tendency to connect with their readers to a greater degree when compared to typical manuscripts.

The question of "What would Jesus do" is particularly intriguing in the context of the Harry Potter series. By linking Jesus' attitudes with Harry's behavior, one would be inclined…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works cited:

Bell, Luke, "Baptizing Harry Potter: A Christian Reading of J.K. Rowling." (Paulist Press, 2010)

Murphy, Derek. "Jesus Potter Harry Christ: The Fascinating Parallels Between Two of the World's Most Popular Literary Characters." (Derek Murphy, 2011)

Neal, Connie W. "The Gospel According to Harry Potter: Spirituality in the Stories of the World's Most Famous Seeker." (Westminster John Knox Press, 2002)

Neal, Connie, W. "What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?." (Random House LLC, 11 Jan 2012)


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