I’m back now from a late viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on opening night with not a free seat in the house. Several people dressed up as the characters, but me and most just came and held our breath as the film first began, with a few excited squeals and tears escaping as the title appeared.
The final film was, in my opinion, the best of the series.
The Revd Rachel Mann said in a recent Church Times article:
…the defining spiritual truth of the Bible is the transforming and saving power of sacrificial love. Yet Rowlingʼs story restates this truth in a way that is both moving and readily understandable. For many, it is more comprehensible than the Bible: Harryʼs very survival, as a baby, is down to his motherʼs willingness to sacrifice herself for his sake. It is reiterated throughout the series that it is Harryʼs capacity for love, and nothing else, that will enable him to defeat the embodiment of evil, Voldemort.
The Harry Potter series has stayed with me since the first book came out and will stay with me always. It is filled with ethical truths that are not argued in the terrible ways that so often truth is argued in Christian debate of the Bible.
I’ve written and spoken many times of how Harry Potter has been important in my life. Of the Theology and the Philosophy I find within it. It only occurred to me a few months ago that other people may have thought the same, and since beginning further research at that time I’ve purchased three ‘Harry Potter study books’, read newspaper articles, read blog pages, watched videos… all sorts. My most recent discovery was a short Youtube video from the Associate Professor of English in Emory University, Adriane Ivey, who says in it:
Dumbledore says to Harry “you have a power, a power of which the Dark Lord knows not, which is to love.” …That is an essentially Christian message.
And that basically sums up the Harry Potter series. It is love, the meaning of love, the depth of love, the strength of love, everything of love is portrayed in this series in beautiful, powerful ways that make me keep the Harry Potter series as an absolutely essential part of my life and walk with God. In “Growing up with God” I have also grown up with the Harry Potter characters. And they have taught me so much. I owe J.K. Rowling and all involved with the films a great deal.
I want to say so much more about the film I just saw and how Harry Potter has changed me. But I don’t think I need to right now (although I could happily write several books) because I’ll think I’ll spend a lifetime doing that. Harry Potter has influenced the way in which I live. Harry Potter has inspired me, and will always remind me that Love is everything.
Some may say, how? How can you gather so much from a few books? Well, seeing as most of my readers have some kind of religious faith, I can say, well what is the Bible? Or the Qu’ran? And for those who are not religious and by all means again those who are, literature teaches us a great deal about life. Only a few days ago I quoted Maya Angelou: “When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” Literature is such an important part of life. And in the words of Albus Dumbledore in the film I just saw: Words are our most inexhaustible source of “magic”…