Harry Potter and the heart of good
What better time than Hallowe’en to write about magic and the battle between the forces of good and evil? Stephen Holmes, the acting head of divinity at St. Andrews University in Scotland, has good timing in that regard.
Earlier this week he endorsed Harry Potter—even called him Christ-like. Holmes hoped that the seal of approval of a respected theologian would open the minds of those who condemn the books as tools for promoting witchcraft.
I hope it helps.
The Harry Potter series has two powerful plus points. First, the books are a family experience. We read all seven books out loud together on long rides to the cottage. We laughed together and cried together, and I know many other families had a similar shared experience. Second, the overriding theme of the books is that good triumphs over evil, and love overpowers hate.
Hard to argue with that.
As we worked our way through the series, I wondered all along, “How is J.K. Rowling going to resolve this in a way that doesn’t involve Harry doing something evil?” I couldn’t imagine how Harry could remove Voldemort’s power without resorting to murder.
Isn’t that the way? When we face something evil, sometimes the only way that we can see our way out of it is doing something evil in return.
But J.K. Rowling didn’t take that road. In the end, Voldemort destroyed himself with his own evil rebounding back on himself. Good triumphed over evil; love overpowered hate.
We are Muggles, but, like Harry, we will often be tormented by Voldemorts in our lives. We can follow Harry Potter’s example—place ourselves in the heart of good and see what happens.