Harry Potter & God

I read an interesting essay on the plane back to DC which discusses the fantasy novel and its expression of God. It begins with Harry Potter and what the series says about us. Looking back on previous novels, The Lord of the Ring series had Tolkien’s Catholicism slant and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was a thinly veiled story about CS Lewis’ views of Anglicanism. JK Rowling’s story about Harry Potter has no view of spirituality or religion. Instead, Rowling focuses on love as the force that comforts and drives the characters.

Harry Potter lives in a world that has been scrubbed clean of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He is surrounded by ghosts, and has even eavesdropped on the afterlife in the basement of the Ministry of Magic, but Harry has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn’t. Not even the lovably prissy Hermione darkens a church door.

Perhaps it is because i’m single and 30ish and don’t see many of my peers hitting Church regularly, but i found this perspective interesting and strikes me as indicative of how many people are feeling these days. Disatisfaction and disillusionment of the Church is causing many to turn to themselves and more secular solutions rather than spiritual ones and I’m not sure that this is a good thing. As the article stated…

In the new millennium magic comes not from God, or nature, or anything grander or more mystical than a mere human emotion. It’s the most anthropo-centric vision possible: even in our fantasies, where we give ourselves permission to believe in dementors and blast-ended skrewts, love is all you need, and love is all you get.

What are your thoughts – is this really a reflection of society or just me?

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