Looking for God in Harry Potter

by John Granger


My dad recommended this book to me. My folks and I have all read all of the Potter books to date. I’ve pre-ordered the newest one to be released this summer.

I didn’t really need a book that set out to defend Harry Potter from well-intentioned Christians. I don’t mind if people don’t want to read the book. I even don’t mind if folks cast stones at those who do.

However, Dad kept harping about it, so I read it… or tried to. This guy is either a LOT smarter than me, or this book was a real snoozer. He deftly takes the Potter series and claims classic status for it, showing how it uses classical Greek and Latin symbolism as do many of the greats of literature. I was a little surprised by that. Perhaps Mark could speak to some of that. I was bewildered by it.

The author also proceeds to demonstrate how the consistent use of imagery, symbolism, names, and plot actually serve to illuminate and consistently reveal Christian themes. Ideas such as atonement, resurrection, good vs. evil, hope, incarnation, sacrfice, and love are consistent in the Potter books. The author claims these themes and their treatment should draw Christian readers to use them as analogies and allegories, much as pastors and churches have found similar themes in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy and C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series.

I can’t necessarily recommend the book to you if you already like Harry. It’s a snoozer, and not nearly as entertaining as reading about muggles. However, if you have previously sworn off of Potter for fear of being indiscriminate, I would urge you to give this book a good reading. It might be illuminating for you though I doubt you’ll enroll at Hogwarts anytime soon.

On this day...