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Potter and Fantasy and the Christian

I suppose the most ridiculously pretentious way to describe myself is as a "Harry Potter Scholar," but I have been so described before, embarrassingly enough in print. Ah, Blessed humility! In any case, I have read all of the books several times and seen all the movies, movies which are, with the exception of the last one, somewhat boring and very disappointing. One thing I've never been able to understand is the so-called "Christian case" against Potter because of its "promotion of witchcraft." Andrew Stuttaford, reviewing a new series of "Christian fantasies" by one G.P. Taylor (fantasies about which he wonders how "books quite so bad have sold quite so well?"), begins his review in the print edition of National Review with this (p. 47):

For those of us who like to believe, however tentatively, in human progress, the notion that there are 21st-century Americans who think that the brave, benign--and fictional--Harry Potter can be used as a recruitment officer for the occult is profoundly depressing.

Amen, brother Stuttaford. If you'd like to see what I see in Mr. Potter and his tales, take a look sometime at an article my wife and I did a few years ago, called "Character, Choice, and Harry Potter."

You can also see an essay by David Baggett in a new book (in which my wife and I also contributed a chapter), called Harry Potter and Philosophy.

Take it from me. I'm a Harry Potter Scholar.


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