Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick
by Richard Abanes
I should begin by saying that I find Abanes argument that Rowling has deliberately set out to lure children into the occult patently absurd, and so it is difficult for me to find anything very charitable to say about this book. Mr Abanes seems to suffer from a similar problem with regard to the Harry Potter series.
The majority of the book is devoted to drawing parallels between the Harry Potter world and occult practices and symbols. While this goes beyond the simplistic magic=evil formula it does so only in its meticulous attention to detail. A great deal of research has obviously gone into the book, however the fundamental premise is still the basic magic=evil formula. If you are unconvinced of this then the whole ediface of argument, so carefully built up, collapses.
Magic has long been used in English literature as a metaphor for the transcendent, and I find the attempt to make a distinction between Rowling's literary use of magic and that of Shakespeare or Tolkien unconvincing.
Abanes also objects to the Harry Potter world as being 'morally ambiguous'. The last time I looked I found the world I live in to be exactly that, and I am sure that a large part of the story's appeal is that it does not gloss over the difficulties and ambiguities of life, and of relationships with other people, but pays the reader the respect of being realistic about them.
I found this book to be depressing in its relentless negativity. I hope that people who read it will not be misled into thinking that all Christians subscribe to this view.