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REL 3112-0002Religion and 20thCentury Fantasy LiteratureAugust 4, 2016Harry Potter as a Christian WorkThe most compelling reason to look at the works of Rowling and Tolkien as Christian works is in the authors interviews about their series. Both Rowling and Tolkien have said specifically that they draw the themes in their books from Christianity and the Bible. With the explanations given by the authors, it is up to the readers to find and see the Christian themes for themselves. In the Harry Potter series and in The Lord of the Rings you can see two major Christian themes emerge. The idea of community and friendship serving the side of good is a major, if not the number one theme in both series. Readers can also see how the Christian theme of pity plays into the story lines and how it has significant plot altering results. Rowling and Tolkien do have slightly different approacheshowever,to the literal portrayal of biblical stories and scripture. Tolkien says that he uses Christianity as, “The Lord of the Rings is a fundamentally Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in or have cut out practically all references to religion.”1Tolkien uses only Christian themes and values in his books, while Rowling uses direct scripture and biblical storiesin her Harry Potter books. J. K. Rowling writes numerous Christian values and themes into her book series. She has an Augustinian view of death and the impact of sin on the soul and the soul’s connection thereafter to God and redemption. J. K. Rowling’s Christian plot finally reveals itself most obviously in the last Harry Potterbook, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You can see three major characters clearly in these 1J. R. R. Tolkien, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, page 172.
books, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Albus Dumbledore is a representation of God the Father, and Harry Potter and Fawkes thePhoenix as the Son and the Holy Spirit. Harry Potter’s great purpose in his world is to defeat Lord Voldemort and reclaim peace for the wizarding world. Dumbledore, or God, knew all along that Harry would have to make a great sacrifice, to give his life in order to defeat evil and save the lives of everyone else. This story follows the story of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross for the everlasting life of the human race. Just like the Holy Spirit itself, seeing Fawkes’ role in these books is a little harder as well. When Harry is in his greatest moments of need, he calls out to Dumbledore and receives help from Fawkes because he does so with good intentions, for the love of Dumbledoreand his pure intentions to defeat evil.