Why Read Harry Potter? J. K. Rowling and the Christian Debate

Emily Griesinger

Emily Griesinger argues that Christian parents and educators can begin to formulate a rationale for reading Harry Potter by examining the concept of “deeper magic” in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and giving attention to the way Rowling adapts this theme in Harry Potter. Despite potential problems associated with witchcraft, Rowling’s magic, like the magic in Narnia, is best understood as a narrative device that allows children to enter an ideal “other” world. At least to some degree, Harry Potter contains the “deeper magic” of Narnia as well. While drawing on imagery and symbols associated with witchcraft and the occult, paradoxically, Rowling manages to incorporate into her vision ideas that are neither occultic nor pagan but decidedly Christian. Ms. Griesinger is Associate Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University.

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Last Updated: April 2, 2003
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