RelLit Essay (1).docx - Claudia Berroa REL3112 Rowling...

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Claudia Berroa REL3112 Rowling Essay April 25, 2019 There has been much debate on whether or not fantasy literature can be considered Christian works. With series’ such as “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “His Dark Materials,” and even “The Lord of the Rings” having Christian elements implemented into the novels deriving from the authors’ religious backgrounds, readers and critics alike have wondered if the “Harry Potter” series can be considered a Christian work as well. Despite some famous pastors being strongly against children reading these books, they do present moral issues that can be connected to Christianity. However, if these themes are not sought, they will not be as explicit as those found in works such as “Narnia.” J.K. Rowling has a religious background that influenced her writing, and with classic Christian themes subtly presented, the “Harry Potter” series can be considered a Christian work. Like J.R.R. Tolkien, Rowling includes some Christian elements regarding moral issues that are not explicitly stated. Many of these influences stem from theologian St. Augustine of Hippo. In “The Lord of the Ring” series, Tolkien incorporates Augustine’s view of the lack of substance in evil. The ringwraiths in Tolkien’s work were once men who had fallen and given into the power of the ring. Over time, their substance had dissipated and they became shadowy figures, constantly searching for the ring and the one who holds it. Rowling uses this example of evil to create the dementors in her books, which are much like the ringwraiths. They are soulless shadows that feed on the happiness of human beings. The main antagonist of the “Harry Potter” series, Lord Voldemort, is also an example of Augustinian evil. Voldemort was once a human
being named Tom Riddle after his father. He still had substance, even if he had never been a good person. Despite Albus Dumbledore’s attempts to teach Tom to use his powers for good, he chose to use his powers for revenge on those who had hurt him. According to Augustine, evil is the corruption of something that was once good. Rowling does not give Voldemort a fall from grace moment. This does not line up with Augustine’s definition of evil, but there is something in Voldemort’s past that might suggest that his mother’s fall is the reason for his evil nature. Merope Gaunt fell in love with and married a muggle named Tom Riddle. She used a love potion on him and once he found out that his wife was a witch, he left her alone while she was still pregnant with his son. Instead of staying alive for Tom, Merope chose to die, unlike Harry’s mother Lily who chose to die to save her son 1 . A person’s choices greatly impact their lives or the

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