Harry Potter quickly became the literary phenomenon in 1997 when J.K. Rowling released "The Sorcerer's Stone."  Since then, the seven books in the series have been made into hit movies, merchandise, and even collegiate musicals.

      The controversial side of Harry Potter is that it is based around witchcraft, which is very frowned upon in moral, and especially christian circles.  Differing from this is the argument that the underlying message is about love and friendship and so the plot of witches and warlocks can be overlooked.

          I write this post to ask your opinion - is Harry Potter literary genius and morally thought provoking and all those who speak against it out of date? or is Harry Potter, for lack of a better phrase, the devil?

Tags: Controversy, Reading

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I have not read the books; however I would like to make an assessment based on what I have seen from the movies. Harry Potter films have contrasted the power of good and evil within the world of witchcraft and wizardry. This is extremely important to point out because in many christian circles, like you said, witchcraft is frowned upon. If christians can focus in on the "morally thought provoking" aspects of Harry Potter, then it will undoubtedly overrule their preconcieved ideas about witchcraft.  
Great response Andrew! I enjoy that you responded even though you haven't read them to show their can be lots of experience outside the novels themselves. What I am gathering is that you don't necessarily condone what they teach but just raise the issues for readers to work through?
First of all, no i don't think Harry Potter is the devil, i think satan is. Now, i am obviously against whichcracft but i think HP is just like any other book; meant to be read for entertainment not something to base your morals or life off of. It's like Twilight; i didn't read those and think ok now i want to become a vampire or a werewolf, nor did i think that they were real. It's just for fun. I didn't watch Barney as a kid and think that my stuffed animal could turn life size and play with me during the day. So basically i think that they are neither helpful or harmful, they are just for entertainment.
Fair enough :) Thank you for responding
I agree with the fact that Harry Potter is meant for entertainment purposes. I also agree that I do not condone or believe in witchcraft but I do not think that the series promote that. It is like any other creative series that was meant to be read for fun and not overly analyzed. I do not think J.K. Rowling's intentions were to promote witchcraft and after personally reading the series it never made me want to do witchcraft. Therefore... I think the books were just created for fun. Much as any other series I do not believe that it influences people to want to mimic the behaviors in the book and I don't think that Harry Potter is "the devil." So... I do not think that the series is harmful but just intended to be read by those who like fantasy books.
My experience reading the books have been really amazing. The books are all about good conquering evil. Many people have thought that J.K. Rowling isn't a Christian but I think differently. In an interview, she hinted that if you couldn't see her religious opinions in her books by the seventh book than the reader probably isn't looking. I suspect she doesn't push her religion on to others, but Christian morals come through the book for me, atleast. In contrast to Twilight (which I have also read), the Harry Potter series actually shows the main female character (Hermione) in a strong independent role, clearly unlike Bella from Twilight.
It is interesting that Twilight came up so quickly in this dicussion thread - mostly because the quick success of the novels and movies has been compared to HP - I do agree with the presence of Christian ideas within the novels mostly because I can find them in most literature, and I am glad you have been able to enjoy these books as much as me
I see only positive out of Harry Potter:  First, the Harry Potter series has encouraged many young and old to read.  Second, Harry Potter is an example of good writing.  Isn't this part of what we want form literature?  (Overall message is positive too.)

The respones to this post have surprised me.  I would expect to  see positive and negative answers reflecting the writers beliefs.  If you are a staunch Christian you would believe Harry Potter was bad, but the comments have been well thought out.  I believe that Harry Potter is a great read.  It's setting in a school of witchcraft  allows for fantastic elements of action much like a story in outer space or one set in the distant future.  The basic story line is not much different than Star Wars;  good vs. evil and as Joseph Campbell would say "The Hero Quest".

Harry Potter movie touches all the aspects of human emotions. Witchcraft and spells have been added just to have that magical effect. Apart from that its a beautiful portrayal of the good and evil that is hidden in us. It has a very good moral and connects well with the younger generation. These books takes the readers on a journey where every incidence is a new lesson learned. The story has been written so well that it really helps in developing the creativity of a child. It depends on us what we want to take from that story and use it in our life.
I personally think Harry Potter is a wonder work of literature for people of all ages that should be praised as such, rather than marks as the devil or praise of witchcraft. However, since there is controversy among some people,. I think doing an in-class reading of it might be unfortunately controversial so I would suggest possibly sending out permission slips with the students. If there is any need, obviously alternative readings could be used.



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