Harry Potter Respects Life
As confusing and troubling as it may seem to have a lightning bolt-branded boy-wizard as a Christ figure, J.K. Rowling tries to create one in Harry. But while he is "savior," he is also He-Who-Must-Be-Saved. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows conjures a world that practically begs for something to have faith in. Rowling's mythology is closest in construction to that of J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis, but it doesn't give evidence of godly faith in any of the ways their stories do. Time columnist Lev Grossman noticed this when he wrote, "If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God. Harry Potter lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by ghosts but has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn't. ... What does Harry have instead of God? Rowling's answer, at once glib and profound, is that Harry's power comes from love. This charming notion represents a cultural sea change. In the new millennium, magic comes not from God or nature or anything grander or more mystical than a mere human emotion. In choosing Rowling as the reigning dreamer of our era, we have chosen a writer who dreams of a secular, bureaucratized, all-too-human sorcery, in which psychology and technology have superseded the sacred." There is no doubt that J.K. Rowling will be remembered as one of the most well-read writers of our age. She will also be remembered for ignoring the simple truth of a very old-and sacred-text: We love because He first loved us.
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