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Friday, 22 July 2011

Harry Potter and Christianity: more reflections

Ok so now I have actually seen the last HP film I have more to write! Having written the last post I found myself watching the movie with a different eye and kept on noticing all kinds of Christian links throughout it. Rather irritated myself actually as I just wanted to watch it, but anyway... So now, I just feel, more than before, that there are so many opportunties for Christian teaching through the HP stories. I think also as the stories have gone on, and become much darker, they have also become less real, if that makes sense. The first book is quite tame, a nice story appealing to kids, could almost be actually happening. These later ones are much more hollywood blockbuster, huge special effects, less appealing to kids in a realistic way, so whilst I know there are critics who suggest the stories can make children interested in the occult, I think it just doesn't make sense with the later stories.

Here are a few things I noted whilst watching:

Of course there is the immensely obvious battle of good against evil that runs throughout all the stories. It has occured to me before that Voldemort could be the very incarnation of the devil. His self-serving plan to take over the world, to have people subservient to him and if they don't comply they get tortured with the cruciatus curse, or killed. It's like his followers are his little demons. In the bible, in Mathew 8 we see demons reacting to Christ, saying are you here to torture us before the alloted time? They beg not to be cast out but to be sent into the pigs. It's rather like Voldemorts followers (many of whom follow him out of fear, as we see I think with the Malfoys) begging not to be sent to him, they would rather a different awful fate than having to face his wrath.

In the last film: Deathly Hallows Part 2, towards the end we see the 'good guys' at Hogwarts desperately sending out charms or spells to protect the castle and the way they are portrayed, stood there all muttering in a strange language just made me instantly think of people praying in tongues .and as an amazing sort of shield appears to cover the school it's like they are covered in prayer, in Gods love, in his protection.

Love is a massive theme running though the books. It all begins as Harry is saved from the killing curse by the love of his mother which we see echoed throughout the movies: when Harry kills Professor Quirrell in the first book it is apparently because Quirrell can't stand to feel the love that Harry carries within him. In this last movie, again we see Dumbledore discussing the love of Harry's mother that protects him.

 Then in this movie we also see Dumbledore appearing in some sort of afterlife (made to look rather like the stereotypical heaven - lots of white and ethereal looking)  which reminded me of Christ appearing to his disciples after his own death, reassuring them, helping them. Which is rather what Dumbledore is doing here with Harry.

so, anyway, just a few thoughts. I loved the movie by the way, although I nkew the story it was edge of the seat stuff!


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tried to make it through the first book-fell asleep.
Truly creeped out by adults who dress as Potter characters and go to the movies; too much like Trekkies and Lord of the Rings Dorks and Dungeons and Dragons basemen-dwellers.

Suem said...

And of course Harry is a Christ-like figure in certain ways. He is the child who lives ( a bit like Jesus escaping the wrath of Herod) and then he has to sacrifice himself of his own volition to save the others - and he is the only one whose death can achieve this. Then he does not die, he sort of returns to life and Voldemort dies.
I hope it isn't too freaky that I go to the movies - I have never dressed as one of the characters!!!

Red said...

Thanks Sue, yeah great observations. and like you I don't dress freakily either! Anon, whats your preferred reading then?