Here we go! This post may be a little far-reaching for some of you out there, but hear me out! I really want to focus for a solid minute on the connections between this series and religion. It’s a long post – I apologise.
I am calling this post Jesusification.
Speaking from a mainly Christian point of view, I find it very odd that the Church has banned these books. When I was growing up, I wasn’t allowed to read them because my church had issued a warning to parents saying that they were not good for children to read. Even now, the church still holds onto this idea. The family I work for is Roman Catholic, and they are still following the advice set out by the church that these books shouldn’t be read. So the kids that I watch over have never read them or seen the movies. 2nd did go to see Fantastic Beasts for a birthday party, but she felt lost in the movie since she had no frame of reference for it.
I want to draw a few connections between both the life of Jesus and the book series:
- Both Jesus and Harry Potter had to die in order to fulfil their life’s mission. Jesus on the cross, and Harry by the hand of Voldemort.
- Both Jesus and HP had to go into hiding at a young age. Jesus, at around 2 years of age when Herod heard of him being the new King of the Jews and set out an order to kill him. HP at the age of one year, when his parents went into hiding from Voldemort.
- Both had prophecies written about them
- Both of these prophecies could have been about other people: John the Baptist was considered to be a strong contender for the role of Messiah, Neville Longbottom could have also been “the chosen one” but Voldemort set his sights on HP instead.
- John the Baptist was an actual relative of Jesus
- Neville’s parents were part of the original Order of the Phoenix, a type of family for HP
- Both gained notoriety as a child: Jesus first gained notice by other religious leaders at the age of 12, and HP when he arrived at Hogwarts at the age of 11.
- Both were branded liars by those in power
- After defeating death: Satan is confined to hell (Jesus having the keys to the gates of hell), and Voldemort lives as that form we see in the very last movie, a naked bloodied half body.
- Both had “all knowing” guiding figures who were not their parents: Jesus had God (for the sake of this argument, Jesus’ parents were Mary and Joseph) and HP had Dumbledore.
- Both were betrayed by close friend: Jesus by Judas, HP by Peter Pettigrew
- Both of these figures took their own lives from their guilt: Judas took his own life after being paid for his betrayal. Peter, receiving his new metal hand as payment for his loyalty to Voldemort, felt guilt over his actions and tried to save HP, thus causing the hand to turn on Peter and kill him.
- Both had followers: Jesus had his 12 disciples, HP Dumbledore’s Army had 29 (according to the sources mentioned on my home page)
- Both raised by non-biological parents: Jesus was raised by Mary/Joseph (not a biological son to either), HP by the Dursley’s.
- Both had “family” in jail still supporting them: Jesus had John the Baptist, HP had Sirius Black
- Both had supporters who died before giving up their beliefs: Jesus had the early Christians, HP had literally everyone who ever died for him in the entire series.
Through all this evidence (I wrote this all out from my own thoughts before doing any other research in the magical place we call the internet) I am a little bit shocked at the fact that the Christian church still has such a negative view on Harry Potter.
An extremely quick Google search after typing this all shows the following top three results:
5 Ways Harry Potter mirrors the Christian Story – On Faith (things I didn’t even pick up on!)
Number four on my Google search did bring an alternative view on things, which I guess explains a little bit of the Church’s position on the books. Harry Potter: A Harmless Christian novel or doorway to the occult, offers a different stance. The author being interviewed says that the difference between fantasy books like Narnia, or The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, is that the magic in the first two can’t be replicated. However, there are things in Harry Potter which you can replicate like astrology and divination which are frowned upon by the church (my paraphrasing of course).
So I guess this isn’t really a new idea in any way, but this year it has been for me. I’ve never really made the connection before. I’m glad that I took the time to delve into this, because it has opened my eyes to a different side of things.