Saturday, July 23, 2005


While the publication of the latest edition of children’s author J K Rowling’s acclaimed Harry Potter series has been the expected commercial and media sensation, rumours abound that Pope Benedict XVI is less than thrilled by the young wizard’s antics – even though he is massively outselling Dan Brown’s 'Da Vinci Code' story, a definite subject of Vatican ire.

Press reports are claiming that the Pope believes the Potter stories “deeply distort Christianity in the soul”. Other clerics, such as Anglican priest, the Rev Richard Billingshurst, who triggered the scrapping of a school event based on ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, also say the novels make fun of evil and are harmful.

For a number of years preachers in America’s Bible belt have been denouncing young Harry, but other Christians take a very different view. Back in 2002 the Mission Theology Advisory Group of the Church of England and the ecumenical Churches’ Commission on Mission produced some reflections on Christian engagement with contemporary culture which said that churches should read Harry Potter as a morality tale. [full story]

See also Harry Potter and the birth of crossover fiction by G. P. Taylor, in the Church of England Newspaper.

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