Looking For God in Harry Potter
by John Granger
Don't let the title put you off! This book is not just for Christians, its much too good for that. Its for anyone who has read the Harry Potter books, anyone whose children have read them, and for anyone who is intrigued by the phenomenal success of the books, whether they've read them or not.
Admittedly it is the best book I have seen for any Christians who are looking for an intelligent alternative to set against the less than totally convincing and intellectually sound argument that, (as Stan Shunpike might have said, had he been a fundamentalist), "'Arry's evil, 'cos 'e's a wizard, inee?'
Even if you decide that the analysis in terms of specifically Christian symbolism, themes, and answers to questions about the meaning of life, love and death are a stretch, this book still provides an intriguing analysis, and one worth considering. It is by no means a Christian tract or an attempt to bend fiction to the cause of evangelism. It takes the books on their own terms as part of an English literary tradition, a tradition that has frequently made use of Christian symbolism and imagery, even while using the metaphor of magic as a means of making the transcendent tangible.
Of course if John Granger is right and the Harry Potter books are an attempt to smuggle a message past the watchful (C.S.Lewis) or sleeping (J.K.Rowling) dragons that guard us against such things, then maybe this book risks letting the kneazle out of the bag and putting the pixie among the pigeons, even before the complete series is written and published.
I read John Granger's new book from cover to cover in one session! It's even better than his previous book, "The Hidden Key". John has made it obvious that the Potter books have a hidden message which is not obvious on a first reading. It takes a deep knowledge of symbolism and a sharp mind to perceive this underlying foundation of powerful spiritual teachings, which are basically Christian but appeal to all human beings. John does indeed have this knowledge and sharp mind and it is a joy constantly to say to yourself, "Ah, of course!" and slap yourself on the head for not seeing it before.
The author has not only looked for God in Harry Potter, but has found Him there.
It is also important to realise that his discoveries are relevant not only to Christians, but atheists, pagans, agnostics and members of other faiths will also find this book of great interest.
What I personally find extremely interesting and enlightening is his revelation of the alchemical symbolism hidden in the books.
Another wonderful revelation John has made is the inverted mass described in HP Book 4.
His language is very accessible and is a joy to read.
I recommend this book to all parents, to all readers of HP whatever their persuasion, and to all who haven't read HP, as this will definitely get them going.