God, The Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister's Defense of the Beloved Novels

God, The Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister's Defense of the Beloved Novels

by John Killinger
4.5 11

Hardcover(First Edition)

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God, The Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister's Defense of the Beloved Novels by John Killinger

“The Potter stories, far from being ‘wicked’ or ‘Satanic,’ ... are in fact narratives of robust faith and morality ...

“What Ms. Rowling has furnished us, besides what the Brits call ‘a good read,’ and a whopping good one, ... is a modern interpretation of the gospel, the wonderful news that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself’ and making sure that the goodness of creation would never be obliterated by the forces of darkness and evil.”

Since their first publication, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have brought joy to children and adults alike. Many conservative Christians in the United States, however, have decried the books as wicked, as preaching witchcraft and the occult, and as glamorizing dishonesty. A minister in New Mexico held a “holy bonfire” on the Sunday after Christmas 2001, at which he publicly torched the Potter books, declaring them “an abomination to God and to me.”

John Killinger, a Congregationalist minister and an academic in the field of contemporary literature, beautifully demolishes the objections of right-wing Christians to this bestselling children’s series. He compellingly argues that, far from corrupting children’s morals, the Potter stories actually influence young readers to follow the teachings of Jesus. He cites passage after passage to illustrate how the world of Harry Potter would be inconceivable apart from the strictures of Judeo-Christian theology and the way human existence should be approached by every follower of Jesus. Additionally, he reflects on the possibility that Harry Potter, like Dostoevsky’s Prince Myshkin and others, is a witting or unwitting Christ figure who actually battles the forces of darkness for the souls of the faithful.

All through this extraordinarily well-written, compelling, and very entertaining little book, the author points out that stories like this are worth more than any sermon toward producing people who truly follow the lessons of Jesus.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312308698
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/23/2002
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 9.92(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

John Killinger, who holds doctorates in both theology and literature, has taught courses in the theological aspects of contemporary literature at Vanderbilt University, the University of Chicago, City College of New York, and Stamford University. An ordained clergyman, he has been a minister in parishes in Virginia and California, and presently serves as the minister of the Little Stone Church, a resort parish on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Among his many publications are several books in the field of literary criticism, including Hemingway and the Dead Gods and The Failure of Theology in Modern Literature. He has also written two novels, Jessie and The Night Jessie Sang at the Opry, which feature Christ as a woman in modern times.

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God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister's Defense of the Beloved Novels 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I whole heartedly agree with the 8th grade reviewer from new york. I myself am a 13 year old catholic christian. I attend church weekly, go to catholic school, and read the Harry Potter books. And, yes, i have had no urges whatsoever to buy a wand and cast spells on those who displease me. I believe Mr. Killinger is awesome, and i fully plan on lending this book to a ton of people. I would also like to add that many people (including myself) have re-read the harry potter novels several times. And, no, it's not to get the spells correct. It's because they are fun, well-written novels by a talented author. So, thanks Mr. killinger, for lending the adults some faith in us younger set.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, this book is so true and I am so glad that someone finally wrote it. Harry Potter is no bad, infact it is the best. I think if people want to know the truth then they should read this books and all the Harry Potter books. This book is right about everything concerning this issue and I recommned it ot anyone who wnats the truth about what to think in this very heated debate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am 14 and i love the books they are the best you get to go to his world and explore with him they are wonderful my brother who is 6 loves them i read them to him and he loves them ohhh and did i mention i am a very strong christian and so is my family and as i said we all love them, they are wonderful and the neat thing is my last name is Potter and well the people who think Harry Potter is filthy piece of you know what whatever( i have been an extra in the movie to so thats probably why i have this opinion, or however you spell it hehe) and to finish this note i love you people who gave harry potter a chance even thoe your relitives or perants or just friends did not approve. farewell!!!!! -Potter
Guest More than 1 year ago
Harry Potter books are just a modern 'cops&robbers' good vs. evil. Yes there are some questioning things in these books,but through out time poeple have tryed to discredit others to put the spotlight on themselves by digging up any and everything they could that might sound bad and blow it rediculously out of proportion.I am 14 a skateboarder and a cristian,and like it or not I think the conservitives are crazy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a christian and i love the Harry Potter books. I don't think these are a bad books just because it has witchcraft or any of that sort of things. I love the books because it sort of put things in a diffrent view on somethings some how. Some of my friends don't like Harry Potter but thats ok becuase they don't have to like it if they don't want to but am not going to stop reading them just people think that the books are a bad thing to read which they are not but i will respect there opinon about the books and i just won't read the books around them that all. The Harry Potter books do have to do with good and evil. it is sort of like Harry is like jesus and Voldemort is satan.I like the books not just becuase it has to do with good and evil but it give you an a really good imagenation for life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am tired of listening to people saying that Harry Potter is promoting whichcraft and the Devil. Mostly everyone who reads the series is doing it because they are exellent novels. Hardly anyone does because they want to do whichcraft. My best friend is a conservative Christian too, and loves the Harry Potter books and goes to church weekly. It is very possible to be a good chritian and still be a Harry Potter fan. It's not like after reading it we'll go out and start practicing whichcraft. Thank you for this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Christian, Iam 17 years old, and i read Harry Potter more than my school books. People believe Harry is satanic and demonic, but not once have i come accross anything to do with the devil. Harry's world is imaginitive, and not real, so why do people go the wrong way and make bad comments on something that doesnt exist? This book is to prove them wrong!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most people don't like Harry Potter because it supposedly is Santanist. Well I think it's good that a Christian is standing up and saying that's wrong. I'm only 14 and I'm a Christian and I've read the books eight times each and I've never come across anything that would was remotely related to the devil!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its about time a christian came to their senses. I prase this man. No child thinks that harry potter influences the devil or that thease spells are real. i should know. im a huge fan and im 13. ive read harry potter every since it first came out. this man it truly a god sent. its time ONE christian stopped saying that all harry potter is is evil and in my oppinion all of those christians are hipicrits. thank you so SO much for being on our side minister!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Publisher's Weekly pegged this book right. Nice try, but rather weak in logic. Bridger's book "The Spirituality of HP" from Doubleday might be a good start at a lower price. But for the most powerful analysis of the HP books as moral/Christian stories read "The Hidden Key To Harry Potter". Just released, this book is going to be a big hit with Potter fans in 2003. Very entertaining and fun to read, but also a substantial literary evaluation. Traces the meaning of latin words and names and the major themes of JK Rowling. As an added feature, Granger makes predictions about what will happen in the last three HP books.