Harry Potter, C.S. Lewis and the Bridge Between Two Worldviews
C. S. Lewis took a rather different view of the pagan myths he studied in his early years in comparison to mainstream Christianity. Some Christians today have responded to not only J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book series but also to Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and C. S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” by criticizing them as a whole because of the pagan imagery and mythology they borrowed and placed within their works. C. S. Lewis wrote of paganism and its connection to Christianity in his apologetic and non-fiction works frequently, but his view of paganism was routed in his understanding of myth and Christianity’s connection to that myth. He wrote in “God in the Dock”:
“The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. The old myth of the Dying
God, without ceasing to be myth, comes down from the heaven of legend and
imagination to the earth of history.”
This presentation points to the fact that J. K. Rowling, like C. S. Lewis, provides a “bridge between two worldviews” to bring the message of the “good news” (Christian gospel) to the reader through the world of Harry Potter by presenting the mythology of the pagan world within Harry’s journey. My points of discussion of this subject will include a look into the revelation in “Deathly Hallows” chapter 16, “Godric’s Hollow” and Rowling’s reference to the basis of life after death including her direct quotes from the Christian Bible. We will discuss these verses in relation to Harry’s struggle to understand the life after death question. We will draw upon our discussion to gain an understanding of the Christian symbolism written by J. K. Rowling through the literary journey of Harry Potter and Christian symbolism written in the works of C. S. Lewis. We will answer the question of how these two authors have impressed their worldviews upon the reader in a secular, post-modern world.
Harry Potter: Phoenix Song and The Order of Virtues
Harry Potter exemplifies courage as a major virtue enabling us to face and stand firm against our fears of the unknown and difficult trials. This talk explores the symbolic meaning of the phoenix within Harry’s journey as it relates to the “Phoenix Song” which presents courage as key factor in the downfall of the Dark Lord. Presented will be the elements of real life issues which we encounter that are parallel to the moral struggles faced by the Potter characters, to include materialism, abuse of power, good verses evil, prejudice/racism, love/friendship, a time for battle and a time to lay down your wand.
"David Gras gets the height, breadth, and the depth of popular fiction and he shares his insights and appreciation powerfully, profoundly, persuasively, and, most important, personally. I've been listening to David speak at conferences for more than a decade -- and he's more of a WOW every year!"
-- John Granger, author of The Deathly Hallows Lectures