Thursday, October 18, 2007

J.K. Rowling discusses the Christian themes in Harry Potter
She naturally used them as the books are grounded in English culture but tried not to be didactic like bad kid-lit and the enjoyable Narnia books (which Tolkien hated about them) which among other things, she notes, would have given away the ending.
But if she was worried about tipping her hand narratively in the earlier books, she clearly wasn't by the time Harry visits his parents' graves in Chapter 16 of "Deathly Hallows," titled "Godric's Hollow." On his parents' tombstone he reads the quote "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death," while on another tombstone (that of Dumbledore's mother and sister) he reads, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

While Rowling said that "Hogwarts is a multifaith school," these quotes, of course, are distinctly Christian. The second is a direct quote of Jesus from Matthew 6:19, the first from 1 Corinthians 15:26. As Hermione tells Harry shortly after he sees the graves, his parents' message means "living beyond death. Living after death." It is one of the central foundations of resurrection theology.

Which makes it a perfect fit for Harry, said Rowling, who was talking about those quotes for the very first time.

"They're very British books, so on a very practical note Harry was going to find biblical quotations on tombstones," Rowling explained. "[But] I think those two particular quotations he finds on the tombstones at Godric's Hollow, they sum up — they almost epitomize the whole series.
I’ve not read the books nor seen the films (yet?). Like Tolkien’s stuff something you’d think I’d be really into but never got round to.

From Fr John Whiteford.

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