So much has been written about the controversy surrounding the Harry Potter book series. Many fundamentalist Christian groups have complained that the Harry Potter books promote witchcraft and promote pagan ideals. Some Christian churches have even gone so far as holding Harry Potter book burnings. But does this mean that all Christians are against Harry Potter books? Is it possible to be a true Christian as well as a true Harry fan? Many Christians have answered this question loudly and with pride: yes! Many Christians have come out to voice their support over the hugely popular Harry Potter views.
Many prominent members of the Christian community have come out to support Harry Potter books and his creator, the writer JK Rowling. Many have defended Rowling and the Harry Potter books. Many Christian leaders have argued that the Harry Potter books help children by letting them become aware of occult practices. Many Christian leaders have also spoken positively about the Christian elements that they have detected in the Harry Potter books. In the book God, the Devil & Harry Potter, Congregationalist minister John Killinger argues that the Harry Potter books grow out of a fundamentally Christian understanding of the world. Furthermore, he writes that the Harry Potter books also transcend any one religion, but that they definitely grow out of a basically sense of Christianity. The struggle between good and evil that is depicted in the Harry Potter books, Killinger argues, is one example about how the books are basically Christian in nature. Killinger also notes that many of the basic motifs, symbols and creatures that are found in many of the Harry Potter books are based on ideas that stem from medieval Christianity. Furthermore, Killinger argues, the Harry Potter books are basically Christian and they are important books because they allow the readers to rise about the usual materialist preoccupations and get in touch with the mysterious and magical side of our existence on earth.
Another prominent pro-Harry Christian argument comes from Connie Neal, who has written several books supporting the Harry Potter books from a Christian perspective. In her book, The Gospel According to Harry, Rowling argues that the magic in the Harry Potter books is completely harmless and clearly pure make-believe. Furthermore, Neal argues, Christians who read and criticize the Harry Potter books read them very selectively. Neal argues that the same technique could be used to find the gospel in the Harry Potter books.
Another Christian writer who has published in defense of the Harry Potter books is John Granger. Granger argues that JK Rowling is following in the tradition of writers like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, who he calls "closeted inklings." These are writers who appear to be writing secular works, but who are, upon closer inspection, writing deeply religious (and in these cases, Christian) works. Granger argues that the Harry Potter books are riddled with Christian imagery such as the phoenix, centaurs, the stags, the unicorns, and the philosopher's stone. He argues that all of these objects represent the truth of Christ in some way. He also argues that in all of the novels, Harry is forced to go through some kind of symbolic death and resurrection, which is reminiscent of Christ's journey. Granger argues that Harry frequently goes through trials that are Christ-like, and that his battle against evil recalls the battles of the Old Testament. Most of the time, he argues, Harry must go underground, either figuratively or literally, to confront a villain, and then he rises again once that villain has been vanquished. Moreover, he argues that Harry's relationship with his best friends represents important Christian values of harmony, loyalty, and peace.
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