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

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  739 ratings  ·  75 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, 256 pages
Published February 17th 2006 by SaltRiver (first published May 21st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,617)
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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
Jen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Jun 27, 2009 Amy rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Natascha
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...more
Beth Hallmark
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
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?
Smpaetz
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
Sarah
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.
Nicole Rivera
Wow!

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...more
Regina Doman
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.
Trudy
Meh. Analyzing HP seemed to take the fun out of it.
Legume
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
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 Eliz
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...more
Marsha
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...more
Lizzie
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
Lauren
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...more
Jeff
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
Jeff Elliott
You almost need a master's in English literature to understand everything that Granger is talking about. While he is a true fan, I really think he is stretching it at times in his comparisons of themes, motifs and characters.
The whole concept should have been much simpler. Another difficulty of the book is that the last book in the Potter series had not yet been released so he is speculating about a lot of things that happen in it. On a few counts he is close to correct, but due to his earlier...more
Deborah
Jun 24, 2012 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who believes Harry Potter is ordained by Satan
There are a host of people who believe the Harry Potter stories are Satanic and demonic and will teach their children the dark arts, therefore, since witchcraft and wizardry are the topic of these FAIRY tale books, they are not fit to read by any religious person's child. Interestingly, this Ivy League educated man who takes an active role in homeschooling his children has a unique and academic perspective about the books written by JK Rowling. This book convinced me that people screaming from p...more
Malerie
Reading with the perspective of a parent who has read & loved the books and doesn't need convincing of the good in the HP series, I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful read and was able to look past the redundancy and, in my opinion, stretches in terms of Granger's views of the allegory & symbolism.

Certainly it is resoundingly there, and I'm quite astonished that I had yet to realize it! This book also answered several questions I've personally had in terms of "why do we love & conne...more
Karen
Excellent read! The book itself is fairly short but it's packed with A LOT of information. This wasn't written by a random person who wanted to defend Harry Potter but by a literary expert who was able to dissect the Harry Potter books and find Christian meaning. And there's quite a few Christian symbols and themes that I was surprised I missed, like the symbol of the Goblet of Fire. A non-consuming fire that tests a person and leaves what is worthy i.e. good works (from the Bible)or the four ch...more
Sue
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...more
J M Padoc
Excellent synopsis of the first five HP books. Some of the author's conclusions seemed like a bit of a stretch, but overall, a pretty good analysis that gave me a good deal of ... well, ammunition for defending this series.
Amy
Feb 16, 2008 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Amanda
Beyond the obvious discussion of the HP books pointing to God and the Christian story, I really liked how Granger discussed the elements of alchemical structuring and symbolism, and just overall, his thoughts on the symbolism in the books opened my eyes to a new dimension of HP. It made me appreciate Rowling even more, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on naming - it was interesting to see all of the elements Rowling drew from to create the names in HP.

Overall, a great read and an eye-opener...more
Jen
Nov 18, 2007 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Christy
Every Christian who is a Harry Potter fan must read this. It's your homework. Go and do it now!
Ben Halliwell
I give this book a qualified 'interesting'. I enjoyed a lot of it, and I think some good connections were being made. That said I also felt that some connections were being made by verbal tricks that seemed illegitimate somehow... Hard to describe, but as I said, it's an interesting book though I couldn't endorse it unreservedly. John Granger does give good backing to the idea that Harry Potter can be endorsed by Christians though, and I hope to remember what I've read in this book and will read...more
Laura
Mar 25, 2007 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: christians,
Shelves: collegefunreads
I bought this book to read as a possible way of arguing that reading Harry Potter is not a sin. I don't believe Harry Potter is a sin. I have family that does believe that. I want to be able to give my nieces the opportunity to read the series. A friend suggested this book. It's written by a christian about why this book is a good book for chrisitians to read. It talks about all the christian metaphors that are included in the book. It is an intersting presentation of the Harry Potter series.
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