What do Harry Potter and Jesus have in common?

Their own book, it turns out. Written by Derek Murphy, it uses the Harry Potter mythos as a means of better understanding early Christianity and the role the character Jesus played in that. Chapter 1 of Jesus Potter Harry Christ is up for reading. I don’t have time to read that in depth right now but it looks pretty interesting. He writes a bit about the outrage the series caused, the obvious links to Christ’s story in the last book that changed more than a few minds about the series, and then states his purpose for the book at large:

Now that we’ve seen the similarities between them, can we spot the differences? The main distinction, it will be argued, is that Jesus Christ is real. Jesus has traditionally been viewed as a historical figure, while Harry is instantly recognized as fiction. But does this distinction apply to the many seemingly mythical elements in the gospels? Can Jesus miracle’s be separated from Harry’s magic tricks because they really happened – or will we allow that certain features of the gospels were exaggerated or intended to be literary. And if so, where do we stop? What protects Jesus from the claim that he is, like Harry, a fictional character?

Perhaps the real question we need to ask is not whether Harry Potter is a “Christ Figure” (similar to a historical religious savior), but rather whether Jesus Christ is a “Potter Figure” (a composition of redemptive mythological symbols and philosophies).

I know which way I’m leaning.

Critics argue that Harry Potter is only borrowing from universal mythological symbols; but if this is true, can Jesus be accused of the same? Could the similarities between Harry Potter and Jesus Christ have resulted from Christianity’s inclusion of mythological motifs, rather than Harry Potter’s inclusion of biblical ones?

This book sounds like a must-read to me.

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About 1minionsopinion

Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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One Response to What do Harry Potter and Jesus have in common?

  1. tmso says:

    Fascinating. I’ll have to put it on my list of books to read. Thanks for posting.

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