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#1 Sun 11th Dec 2011 07:21 am

Registered: Thu 15th Jan 2009

Jesus Potter Harry Christ

What do Jesus and Harry Potter have in common? More than you think!

Jesus Potter Harry Christ uses the similarities between Jesus and Harry to re-open the debate over the historical Jesus, arguing that both Harry and Jesus are spiritual metaphors told in the literary form of historical fiction. With hundreds of footnotes and references from both ancient mythology and modern culture, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a fresh and arresting account of Christian history that is not predicated on the flesh and bones of a historical founder. Despite the playful name, this book is a serious and well referenced research book into comparative religion and the making of the Christian religion. It won first place for Religious non-fiction at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and several foreign language rights have been sold. It’s gotten positive reviews from Midwest Book Review,, Portland Review of Books and Skeptic Magazine as well as dozens of blogs and websites. From ancient mystery religions to modern fairy tales, from fictional Hogwarts to the ruins of Jerusalem, Derek Murphy, PhD in Comparative Literature at one of the world’s top universities, zooms in on one crucial question: How do we separate the obviously mythical literature of Jesus Christ from the historical man himself?

AT THE BEGINNING of J.K. Rowling’s internationally popular phenomenon, Harry Potter was first viewed with suspect, and then damned outright by religious conservatives claiming that Rowling’s stories encouraged children to embrace witchcraft. The fallout from this controversy has included law suits, worker strikes, book burnings, and several campaigns to educate Christian families against the evils of Harry Potter. The “boy who lived” became Jesus’ arch-nemesis: the icon or rallying point behind which infuriated Christians could gain support (and a much needed platform) against a society embracing vampires as boyfriends, witches as heroes, and monsters as merely misunderstood. None of this slowed the success of Harry Potter, whose books, and then the movie franchise produced by Warner Bros, have been both an unchallengeable model for marketing strategy and economic success, and also an integral part of the lives of millions of fans who have watched Harry grow up – and grown up with him.

As we reached the end of this journey, the final coming of Harry Potter was treated as Messianic; blogs called the release of the first installment of Harry Potter 7 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I) “A historic event”. However, the tension between Jesus and Harry has not been forgotten. A few extremist groups continue to burn books or protest movie openings or mount the pulpit in frothy defense of Christianity against the madness of modern culture’s obsession with wizardry; but at the same time, the general Christian stance towards Harry Potter has taken a profound shift after the publication of the final book, in which Harry dies a sacrificial death, is tortured using the Cruciatus curse, and has an afterlife experience of sorts at “King’s Cross”. Potter then comes back to life and triumphs over his evil adversary, Voldemort. These motifs have guided many Christians to ask whether Rowling consciously crafted the Harry Potter story after the Passion of Jesus Christ. Is Harry Potter a Christ-Figure?

A review of the book
New book pits Jesus Christ against Harry Potter

ohn Lennon once said The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, a claim that ignited a public relations firestorm. These days, one could easily claim that Harry Potter is also more popular than Jesus. Like Beatles albums after Lennon’s remarks, Harry Potter books have landed in the angry fires of Christian fundamentalists attempting to draw attention to the stark differences between the two superstars.

But what if the reason Harry Potter and Jesus Christ are so popular has to do more with their similarities rather than their differences? What if both, in essence, drew from the same literary template?

In Jesus Potter Harry Christ, Derek Murphy associates the two wonderworkers and identifies their striking parallels, some that include:

--A supernatural father and mortal mother.
--Miraculous birth foretold by prophecy.
--Supernatural powers in the service of helping others.
--Symbolized by the lion, while their foes were represented by the serpent.
--Descended into the underworld.
--Went willing to their death after great suffering, and then rose back to life in victory. … ter-review

Reading through the comments left at the article, this book sure does make people angry.

HOPE is the thing with feathers   
That perches in the soul,   
And sings the tune without the words,   
And never stops at all        Emily Dickinson



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