Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quotation of the Week: On Harry Potter

Yes, Elizabeth and I sat expectantly in the nearest movie theatre Thursday night, awaiting the 12:01 AM showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. It was our first and only midnight viewing of the Potter series; for the other films, we usually took the premiere day off from school to see the first matinee, usually while everyone else was holed up in their school classrooms.

I will write a review of Deathly Hallows Part 2, but we're taking the boys and Keith to see the early ($6) matinee tomorrow morning, so I'll write about it after I've seen the film for a second time. The experience was thrilling, although I wish they'd stuck closer to the book in a few places.

But I still find many Christians opposed to the Potter books and films, and I really don't see why. JK Rowling is a professing Christian whose literary heroes include Christian novelists CS Lewis and JR Tolkien, and I believe that her series will be seen by later generations as equal to theirs in both overall scope and quality as well as Christian content.

If Christians remain leery of the series, I encourage them to read John Granger's excellent book Looking for God in Harry Potter in which Granger, a homeschooling dad of seven, outlines the Christian origin of character names as well as the Christian themes and imagery of the series. Written before the publication of the final book, which contains by far the most blatant Christian content, this book totally changed my mind about the Potter series. Granger also has a short article on the Christian themes in the Potter series, specifically the second book, here: "Harry Potter and the Inklings."

As I browsed several film reviews by Christian authors, especially by Frederica Mathewes-Green called "Holy Harry," I came across a wonderful article on the Christian themes in the series called "Deeper Magic, Deeper Meanings" by Baylor literature professor Greg Garrett that contained a quotation so powerful that I had to jot it into my quotation journal:

"I felt that Rowling's 4100-page epic was the best and the most powerful contemporary retelling of the gospel narrative I'd encountered."
--Greg Garrett, Professor of Literature at Baylor University

I think this quotation puts the Potter series in its proper context as truly Christian fiction. And I'll post my review of the final film probably on Tuesday.

Happy movie watching!

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