THE ALCHEMY OF HARRY POTTER

This article comes from one of the foremost experts on the Harry Potter series, John Granger.

I’ve been looking for an intelligent answer besides, “well, it just doesn’t,” when someone insists that Harry Potter introduces children to the occult and this article reinforces that thought.

John Granger delves into the literary traditions of alchemy that are woven throughout Harry Potter, which is a far cry from the occult. Again, Mr. Granger explains it a lot better than I could. Here’s a sample:

The great irony in the objections that Rowling’s books undermine or violate the tenets of the Christian faith is that her books offer initiation, not into the occult, but into the symbolist worldview of revealed faiths (and sacramental religions specifically) and the dominant symbols and doctrines of traditional Christianity. Ignorance of alchemy and the larger traditions of English literature—not to mention the Christian understanding of the relations of faith and secular culture—has caused many to turn away a great help, perhaps providential, in the trouble and struggle we have to prepare our children for fully human, which is to say “spiritual,” lives.

I love that any book can lead me to other books and articles and in turn, learn more about myself and others… and learn more about other great literature and ideas.

All of this research and reading has reminded me that to be relevant in my pursuit of writing (and in other areas of my life), I must learn about, know, and understand the world outside of the Christian subculture and I that I must use caution to walk that delicate tightrope of learning about the world around me and taking what I learn and become an influence on the world, and not vice versa.

I don’t pretend to walk that tightrope perfectly, and I won’t pretend that I’m even close to getting it right all the time. I will, though, continue to add to the dialogue, and hopefully, we will learn from each other.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    that I must use caution to walk that delicate tightrope of learning about the world around me and taking what I learn and become an influence on the world, and not vice versa.Or: You must be a thermostat, not a thermometer. And I think you are!

  2. Catherine says:

    Great quote – thanks for that! I enjoyed all your Harry thoughts, actually. I recently wrote my own Harry review and I’d love to know what you think! http://catherinemcniel.blogspot.com/2007/08/my-final-post-about-harry.htmlOh, and, I haven’t watched a full Simpson’s episode either…we may be the only two left in the country…Nice to “meet” you!

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