TWH – Muggle. Ravenclaw. Azkaban. These are familiar words to the millions of Harry Potter fans around the world. With more than 450 million books in print in over 200 countries, the Harry Potter franchise, including films and other marketing tie-ins, make it one of the most successful in history.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, on a book tour, expands on her previous claims that the hugely popular series contained Christian themes.”Author J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books have always, in fact, dealt explicitly with religious themes and questions, but until “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” they had never quoted any specific religion. That was the plan from the start, Rowling told reporters during a press conference at the beginning of her Open Book Tour on Monday. It wasn’t because she was afraid of inserting religion into a children’s story. Rather, she was afraid that introducing religion (specifically Christianity) would give too much away to fans who might then see the parallels. ‘To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious,’ she said.
Just before the final Harry Potter novel arrived in stores, I made my one and only prediction concerning the novel. “My own (spoiler-free) prediction? I think there is a very good chance Rowling will reveal the series to be a Christian parable of sorts after the climatic ending of last book.”While Rowling has been mostly quiet about religion and her books, it is no secret that she attends church regularly and considers herself a practicing Christian. Before the release of the last book she made it plain that there was a Christian message to be found within the series.”…there clearly is a religious – undertone. And – it’s always been difficult to talk about that because until we reached Book Seven, views of what happens after death and so on, it would give away a lot of what was coming.
The massive avalanche of Harry Potter purchases start at midnight tonight. While many of us in the Pagan community have tried to distance ourselves from the idea that Harry Potter = Paganism, that hasn’t stopped the press, editorialists, and assorted pundits (religious and secular) from throwing in their two cents about the “occult” and “pagan” themes within the books. “I absolutely did not start writing these books to encourage any child into witchcraft. I’m laughing slightly because to me, the idea is absurd. I have met thousands of children and not even one time has a child come up to me and said, ‘Ms Rowling, I’m so glad I’ve read these books because now I want to be a witch'” – J.K. RowlingSo here is a quick round-up of articles that are wild about Harry (or more accurately, wild about the theological implications of Harry) that mention Pagans, the occult, and the religious “message” of the books (plus: Wizard Rock interludes!).