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Looking for God in Harry Potter
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Looking for God in Harry Potter

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,108 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Millions of children, even Christian children, are reading the mega-selling Harry Potter book series and are exposed to the Harry Potter movies. John Granger, a devout Christian, teacher of classic literature, and father of seven children, first read the Harry Potter books so he could explain to his children why they weren't allowed to read them. After intense study, howev ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published February 17th 2006 by SaltRiver (first published May 21st 2004)
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Ashley Moman
I really recommend this to anyone thinking of reading the Harry Potter books, or whose children are reading them. I noticed before knowing that other Christians have, that Harry Potter is full of wonderful Christian theology and symbolism, and despite the packaging of "magic" these books are the epic struggle of good and evil and becoming a new man in light of such a battle. I happily was made aware after reading the series of books that there are like-minded Christians who also see this. I wait ...more
I went into this book with low expectations. Based off the title and a perfuntory flip through the book, I expected interpretative gymnastics to create Christian motifs where there weren't and to make out that J. K. Rowling is a orthodox christian trying to bring the gospel message to the world in story-form. I already loved the Harry Potter books, I didn't need to justify my enjoyment of them by imagined-Christian intentions and interpretations. On the basis of Romans 1, I can draw Christian th ...more
May 13, 2009 Trudy rated it it was ok
Meh. Analyzing HP seemed to take the fun out of it.
Jan 13, 2016 Kailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this in-depth analysis of the Harry Potter books, specifically tying together classic Christian themes and symbols. The author has become an expert on Harry Potter and gives lectures at B&N University. He also has a degree in Classical Languages and Literature, so you know he really knows what he's talking about!

At the time this was written, only the first 5 HP books had been published, so the author also speculates, sometimes with funny results, about what he thought might
Jun 27, 2009 Amy rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: someone who needed to see the good in Harry Potter
This book might be helpful to those who think the Harry Potter books are dangerous for Christians to read. Although several times he reads nonexistent interpretations into the text of the Harry Potter books, for the most part, Granger makes an excellent case that the books are full of Christian themes and could uplift children rather than harm them. All the same, I would only recommend this book to a friend who didn't understand that reading about Harry Potter can be a valuable, inspiring experi ...more
Beth Hallmark
Jan 06, 2013 Beth Hallmark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The first time I read this book, I wanted to see if there was any truth to the fear Christian parents and teachers had toward young/pre-teen children reading this series...there isn't. The second time I read this book (and have re-read certain chapters again and again) is to add meaningful depth to my reading experience of the Harry Potter books. Apart from the Christian symbolism of names, animals, magic, and story lines, these books MUST be read for the sheer wonder of J.K. Rowling's amazing l ...more
Ashley Bianchi
Jul 28, 2011 Ashley Bianchi rated it really liked it
Wow. My mom typeset this book and she was so excited to give it to me for Christmas. (I'm HP obsessed-but most family doesn't get it) This is a must read for any parent, or person rather, who feels the "devil is in Harry Potter." John Granger gives overwhelming proof for the underlying Christian symbols and themes throughout the series. If the reader is left with doubt as to the goodness of HP, then they have closed minds and hearts. Why not find out what the phenomenon is about?
Aug 26, 2016 SarahO rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone (Christian and Non-Christian)
Wow, I wasn't sure what I'd get when I started this book but it was amazing! And it opened up Harry Potter like I never thought of it before. It was also funny to see some of the author's assumptions or predictions of of the later novels because only 5 had been published at the time this book came out. I would highly recommend this (or it's updated version) to anyone who questions how "good" the Harry Potter books are. The author is a Christian homeschool father as well as a classical lit profes ...more
Oct 26, 2009 Jen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2014 Smpaetz rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the book. When reading through the Harry Potter series I never read books that analyzed the books in depth. Because i continue to find myself among Christians that "Hate " Harry Potter and don't let their children read it I felt it was time for me to read someone else's literary analysis. I enjoyed most of the book. Literary alchemy is discussed which is not something I was previously familiar with. There are some points that the author makes that I think are reaching in order to make ...more
Mar 15, 2009 Natascha rated it really liked it
This book came recommended to me so that I should be "armed" with the knowledge of what a fundamental Christian is saying with regards to the Harry Potter stories, especially a devoted Harry Potter fan!!!
Although there are times when Granger "stretches" the analysis, for example seeing Harry as a a representative for Christ and some of the other parallels he tries to make, he does a fantastic job of really "digging" in the book and finding the fun that Rowling must have had in writing them. He
Apr 22, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian, read-2008
Absolutely brilliant! This book was written after five Harry Potter books had been published, and updated after the sixth. It looks at the clear Christian themes running through the series, alongside the alchemical literary formulae, and the reasons why they were so resoundingingly popular.

Answers all the (generally feeble) arguments from a few fundamentalist Christians, and shows how valuable the Harry Potter books are in teaching positive Christian worldview and ethos.

I'd spotted a few gener
Feb 16, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Chrisian HP fan, Christian parents conderned about HP.
This is a great resource for parents concerned about pagan themes in HP. If you aren't sure whether or not to let your child read Rowling's series, read this book and make an informed decision. Know that there are some spoilers in the book, but they are necessary to his thesis- namely that HP is an allegory of the Gospel of Christ.

This book is also very interesting if you are not up on historical Christian symbols or literary devices. After reading Granger's book, you will have a much greater un
Nov 18, 2007 Jen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Harry Potter Fans
Absolutely full of incredible symbolism and hidden meanings, just amazing! For all of those people that haven't even read a word of the Harry Potter books, yet say they are full of Satanic influences should read this. The author was one of those people until his pastor told him if he wanted his children to learn about Christlike lessons and love, he should let them read the Potter books, then explained why. This author now teaches a course at university about the Christian sybolism and meanings ...more
Alison Ml
Jan 01, 2015 Alison Ml rated it really liked it
This book is very enlightening about the Christian symbols in Harry Potter and should put a stop to all comments that say that the Harry Potter series advocates the occult. It is entirely wrong and John Granger proves it over and over again. For all those who wish to discover hidden meanings in the books or those who don't like Harry Potter because of its magic, I highly recommend it, if it is at least to put a stop to those ridiculous and shameful book-burners.
Aug 12, 2016 Sara-Anne rated it it was amazing
I really wish this had a different title because it's not about "looking for God in Harry Potter" so much as how all the best stories are symbols or reflections of the Great Story, and how to find that story within the Harry Potter books specifically. However, I think that even someone who's never read Harry Potter would get a lot out of this book, especially the parts on what makes a story good, and how reading the right kind of stories is like a spiritual training ground for making godly decis ...more
Jan 29, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
They should add a shelf for "skimmed." That's all I did of this book. It had some good points, but I already think these books are ok for my kids to read. I just decided to go ahead and read the real thing again.
Stephanie Keaty
Feb 10, 2015 Stephanie Keaty rated it liked it
Like the author, I was vehemently apposed to the series of books captivating public schools and pop-culture which glorified magic and wizardry. Harry Potter would not be on my kids' bookshelves! ....and then a friend recommended this book to me. Mr. Granger has done some serious research and helped me to enjoy the books by J.K. Rowling along with my sons.
The author reminds us that humans are "wired to respond to stories that reflect the greatest story ever told" and if the Potter series causes
Nicole Rivera
Feb 13, 2014 Nicole Rivera rated it it was amazing

I first started reading the HP series in the summer before my junior year. At that time, the first three books were out. I needed to catch up on my reading counts points but just couldn't get into any of the books on the list and was trying to figure out a plan to barter with other students to take some quizzes for me in exchange for me taking some for them. My friend's mom suggest reading the Harry Potter books. My mom went out and bought all three. I hadn't been into reading since The Goo
Regina Doman
Mar 20, 2009 Regina Doman rated it it was amazing
Still the best of John Granger's books on Harry Potter. But I'm waiting for his definitive book now that the series is over.
Lizzie Jones
Jul 12, 2015 Lizzie Jones rated it liked it
Basically this book is Harry Potter meets Christian theology. Granger is interested in proving that Harry Potter is full of Christian themes, morals, and imagery. He analyzes the text deeply and impressively but I still think many of his points are a little bit of a stretch. He still has some fascinating ideas though, particularly regarding his analysis of the theme of resurrection in the series. He does make some compelling arguments about Harry being a Christ-figure as well, but all of this is ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Kiersten rated it really liked it
It was a really interesting book! He had a lot of fascinating ideas about the first 5 books. It was only a shame that he didn't wait to publish it until all 7 books were out. I'm not sure I agree with all of his ideas, but he definitely added a new and interesting perspective. I would definitely recommend this to any Christian who is hesitant about reading the Harry Potter series. It does have some spoilers in it though, so I would recommend reading the actual books first. Granger recognizes man ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Kris rated it liked it
Useful, but rather poorly written. I liked the unique information on alchemy and Latin names, but Granger could have used a better editor to even out some rough patches and connect his sentences more smoothly. His perspective is from that of the wary, overprotective Christianese families with seven homeschooled children who never watch TV and pale at the words "magic" and "spell" -- although there are interesting facts in this book for everyone.

Granger does a pretty good job of connecting variou
Feb 08, 2010 Legume rated it liked it
I read this book after reading "What's a Christian to do with Harry Potter," which was wonderful. Granger, a homeschooling dad of seven children, was introduced to the books and immediately found them full of great Christian literary symbolism. I found this fascinating because I felt the same when I read the series, but thought perhaps it was me interjecting my faith into the text. Apparently, mine was not an unique assessment. Not only did others see it, but the Christian themes were exactly th ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
Jun 05, 2011 Lissa Notreallywolf rated it it was ok
Shelves: goned
I learned things from this book, no question. I have read Harry Potter in sort of a disjointed escapist fashion for years, and some of the books I don't recall in great detail. Granger recalls them all because this is his subject matter and he apparently rereads them outloud for his seven homeschooled children. Not having children much less seven underfoot, I have read them without concern that they would convert me to becoming a ceremonial Satanist, which is apparently the concern of fundamenta ...more
Rachael Miles
Feb 23, 2012 Rachael Miles rated it it was ok
Whilst I've appreciated and found this book interesting, I've found Granger's analysis is incredibly focused on masculine transcendence. I expected this really because of his fundamentlist evangelical background, but he does make a few good points. Rather disappointed though.

I think he's only thinking about one side of the coin. I think that to truly get to the heart of Harry Potter and why it has spoken to so many millions of people, you need to look not just at the transcendent relevance to Go
Mr. Granger is a very devoted Christian father with seven children. He wanted to make sure his offspring weren’t being tainted with unsavory influences like sorcery. So he proceeded to study the Rowling books about a boy wizard.

This mindset permeates this treatise as he dissects the first six books one by one in his effort to prove that Rowling has created not only classic books for the ages but books toting truly Christian virtues. While he makes a few factual mistakes about the books themselve
Nov 28, 2007 Lizzie rated it liked it
I think the title is misleading and would turn some people off from the start who might actually enjoy reading this book. Those who doubt the literary depth of Harry Potter should read this book regardless of their religious affiliations or lack thereof. John Granger is pretty much beside himself most of the time, trying to hold back from digressing from digressions as he describes the various links to the Great Works of English Lit and the link between the Great Works of English Lit and Biblica ...more
This book was very interesting and had great insight into the Christian theme and elements in Rowlings' Potter books. I love literary criticism, and frankly starting it I didn't know how far Mr. Granger could go with his thesis that the Harry Potter books are truly Christian through and through. In the end he went very far (with some stretching).

Now, my one compliant is how Mr. Granger likes to inject some of his own moral and religious bias. I do respect differing ideas, but when an author equ
Aug 08, 2011 Jeff added it
I guess I had a biased reading of this view since he writes from a Christian perspective and finds the themes in a Christian context, I still think this book opened my eyes to help me understand the whole concept of Alchemical Literature and I found it everywhere in the series as I am reading through it a 2nd time. I don't agree with all the conclusions Granger makes, but I still think there is alot to be learned from him, and it will definitely help Christians who are scared of reading this ser ...more
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