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Re: [mythsoc] Wizard Harry never appeared

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  • Ted Sherman
    I just clicked on the link again (in the message you sent, Diane) and it worked for me. For those who had difficulty accessing the article, here tis. Wizard
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 25, 2001
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      I just clicked on the link again (in the message you sent, Diane) and it
      worked for me.

      For those who had difficulty accessing the article, here 'tis.

      Wizard Harry 'has magic key to the Christian life'
      By Jonathan Petre
      (Filed: 09/09/2001)


      HARRY POTTER, who has been demonised by evangelicals for glamorising the
      occult, is in reality a paragon of Christian virtues, according to a new
      book by a leading Church of England theologian.

      Although the boy wizard may appear to have more to do with broomsticks than
      baptisms, his battle with the evil Lord Voldemort reflects profound themes
      such as redemption and atonement, argues the Rev Dr Francis Bridger.

      The books by J K Rowling, which have sold more than 90 million worldwide,
      have been attacked by Christians in Britain and America as a dangerous
      influence on children.

      Carol Rookwood, the headmistress of St Mary's Church of England primary
      school in Chatham, Kent, banned them from the school library last year. She
      said the Bible taught "that wizards, devils and demons exist and are real
      and dangerous, and God's people are told to have nothing to do with them".

      Canterbury Cathedral turned down the chance of being a location for the film
      Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone because of fears that the story's
      pagan imagery might upset worshippers.

      The Dean of Gloucester, the Very Rev Nicholas Bury, was also criticised by
      some local Christians after the cathedral authorities gave permission to
      Warner Bros to shoot the £85 million film there.

      Dr Bridger, the principal of Trinity College, Bristol and a member of the
      General Synod, argues that such denunciations reflect a misunderstanding of
      the books, which he compares to Christian allegories such as C S Lewis's
      Narnia series.

      In The Spirituality of Harry Potter, to be published in November to coincide
      with the release of the film, he says that the stories should be welcomed as
      a new way to "open the door" to the Gospels.

      "The wizardry and witchcraft of Potterworld is a fictional device, quite
      different in its tone and content from the wizardry and witchcraft that
      stand in conflict with Christianity," says Dr Bridger. Rowling may never
      have expressed any Christian beliefs but, like Lewis, she is an "intensely
      moral writer".

      Dr Bridger adds: "Harry's moral awakening through the series has received
      considerably less attention in the media than his hormonal awakening, but in
      many ways it is more important."

      Moreover, although there is no mention of God, the books are replete with
      theological themes such as self-sacrifice, mercy and the redemptive power of
      love. Even the wizard jail Azkaban could be seen as a reflection of the
      Christian idea of hell.

      St Paul used the stories of Zeus to help to convert people to Christianity,
      and Christians today can regard Harry Potter in the same positive way, he
      says.

      "Far from amounting to a denial of the Gospel, the Potter series - through
      its morality, implicit theology and metaphysics - opens a way to encourage
      children and adults alike to move beyond the literary creation of
      Potterworld to ask questions about truth and reality in a way that would
      have been taboo a generation ago. If this is not opening the door to the
      Gospels, I don't know what is."

      His book is the latest attempt to claim that a figure from popular culture
      reflects Christian virtues. The Simpsons, the dysfunctional cartoon
      characters, are to be rehabilitated as a good Christian family in a book by
      Mark Pinsky, an American journalist, which will be published next month.

      The Rev Richard Thomas, the Oxford diocesan spokesman, said that Oxford
      Cathedral had been used for some of the Potter film.

      He said: "The occult is dangerous, and Harry Potter does give children a
      gentle introduction to that world. But in the Potter books, evil is always
      defeated by the personal sacrifices of the characters as they follow the
      higher power of good. Sacrifice and redemption are strong themes, and Harry
      Potter can open our eyes to the spirituality in all of us."


      © Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2001. Terms & Conditions of reading.
      Commercial information. Privacy Policy.

      Ted
      ------------------------------
      Dr. Theodore J. Sherman, Editor
      Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and
      Mythopoeic Literature
      Associate Professor of English
      Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
      Murfreesboro, TN 37132
      615 898-5836 Office
      615 898-5098 FAX
      tsherman@... Office
      tedsherman@... Home

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <dianejoy@...>
      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2001 11:48 AM
      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Wizard Harry never appeared


      >
      > Hmm. All I got was a blank, with the Telegraph logo. "Wizard Harry"
      article never appeared. Must be my weird system. ---djb.
      >
      > Original Message:
      > -----------------
      > From: Ted Sherman tedsherman@...
      > Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 21:30:29 -0700
      > To: wolpie@..., rsgeier@..., havenspp@...,
      pollyanna143@..., rbs007@..., rbs007@...
      > Subject: [mythsoc] news.telegraph.co.uk - Wizard Harry 'has magic key to
      the Christian life'
      >
      >
      > An interesting article. Ted
      >
      >
      http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$FCQOL0IAAA5IPQFIQMGCF
      GGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2001/09/09/nchur109.xml
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      >
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