Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion


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BubblesTheMonkey **SPOILER**

When Harry and Hermione were in Godric's Hollow, they talked about it being Christmas and the memories of when they celebrated at school. This brought to mind to me (idk why in the last book) isn't wizardry, like, a religion in itself since that is what they believe in? Also, do they believe about Jesus and such?


message 2: by Molly (new)

Molly I'm not sure, religion isn't spoken about in the books. I always thought I would have been interesting to have someone who was deeply religious go to Hogwarts and see how the experience affected their beliefs.

Christmas in the wizarding world seems to be a bit like Christmas in Japan: They celebrate it because it's fun and good business, not because they believe in any of the religious aspects surrounding the holiday. Christmas is as much a secular holiday nowadays as it is a religious one. My family isn't very religious but we celebrate it. My Jewish friend and her family celebrate it, and my mom's Hindu co-work celebrates Christmas every year with his family back in India.


Chloe I am a Christian as is my family, and I know there has been a debate in our house about the religious stuff in Harry Potter. The fact that they celebrate Christmas but don't really talk about it doesn't say anything, as in the books and movie, you also don't see Muggles saying anything particular about Christmas or other holidays that they do celebrate in Britain. I think that wizardry could be a sort of religion, because some religions or denominations, such as Christianity, find witchcraft and using magic as a sin. So maybe witchcraft and wizardry is their religion?


Shep I'm not sure if I'd really see it as a religion. They're wizards, people with supernatural powers that are able to cast spells and manipulate magic. It's like saying other paranormal beings are in their own religion because of what they are, which isn't the case. You wouldn't say a person who is a werewolf is in the "werewolf religion," would you?

That being said, I do understand why people might consider it a religion. There actually are religions out there that practice magick, such as Wicca, though it's not the same as HP magic.


message 5: by AJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

AJ dk


Heather I didn’t see wizardry as a religion for the wizards. It’s a skill-set. It’s part of who and what they are. It’s not a religion – a set of beliefs – any more than… crocheting is my religion. I crochet. It’s got nothing to do with my set of beliefs.

In real life, magic can be part of a religious practice, like Wicca. However, in the universe of the books, it’s not a religious practice.


BubblesTheMonkey Molly wrote: "I'm not sure, religion isn't spoken about in the books. I always thought I would have been interesting to have someone who was deeply religious go to Hogwarts and see how the experience affected th..."Agreed.


Kressel Housman I always thought that JKR was raised secular, as are most people in the Western world, and the Harry Potter series was her way of answering the spiritual/religious question, "What happens after we die?"

I'm Jewish, not Christian, but isn't the veil to the next world in Book V a Christian symbol? And what about the insight at "King's Cross?"


message 9: by Molly (new)

Molly Kressel wrote: "I always thought that JKR was raised secular, as are most people in the Western world, and the Harry Potter series was her way of answering the spiritual/religious question, "What happens after we ..."

The veil is a gateway/barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead. You can only pass through it once, and when you do it kills you instantly. The more you're near it and hear the voices on the other side, the harder it is not to walk through. So, it doesn't sound like any christian symbol I know of, but I'm more of a cultural Catholic than I am a practicing one, so that could be why. Honestly, it sounds more pagan to me.

According to JKR, what you heard when you approached the veil and your reaction to it depended on your belief or skepticism about the existence of an after life.

The veil was one of the things I was hoping to learn more about as the series went on, but alas, my curiosity has remained unsatisfied.


message 10: by AD (new) - rated it 5 stars

AD I think JK Rowling skirted over the issue purposefully, and she was wise to do so. Of course, many of the moral lessons that are apparent in the series do lend themselves toward religious teachings, but the question of whether this is overt or not is a personal one.
An interesting point about witchcraft and wizardry being a religion... They could, Lord Voldemort, be seen as deities over the Muggles. What do we require of a god? Greater power than ourselves... At the same time, of course, they are of the same species as Muggles and are equal to them--they just have enhanced skills. I can't imagine a Squib would be left without some serious soul-searching, though.


Ethan I think they probably do especially since Harry and Hermione were raised as muggles. They just don't mention it because they're too worried about Voldemort coming.


Gabriel Molly wrote: "I'm not sure, religion isn't spoken about in the books. I always thought I would have been interesting to have someone who was deeply religious go to Hogwarts and see how the experience affected th..."

I grew up in Japan, and we don't celebrate it for religious reasons, just for fun. Which is kinda cool, considering that it is the country with the most atheists.

Hogwarts is a multifaith school http://madam-pince.blogspot.com/2007/...


BubblesTheMonkey Gabriel wrote: "Molly wrote: "I'm not sure, religion isn't spoken about in the books. I always thought I would have been interesting to have someone who was deeply religious go to Hogwarts and see how the experien..."

That seems a bit hypocritical, but I guess it's not a huge deal. It's not hurting anyone.


message 14: by Molly (new)

Molly Katniss990 wrote: "Gabriel wrote: "Molly wrote: "I'm not sure, religion isn't spoken about in the books. I always thought I would have been interesting to have someone who was deeply religious go to Hogwarts and see ..."

I like the idea of people celebrating a holiday just because it's fun. I think it makes it seem more magical for me. After researching Christmas celebrations around the world I'm convinced that very few of the traditions have anything at all to do with the religious aspects anyway, like Iceland's 13 yuletide lads or Wales' strange horse skull ghost biting thing.


BubblesTheMonkey Why do people celebrate it if it's not for Jesus's birth? Because of the gifts and Santa?


Gabriel Katniss990 wrote: "Why do people celebrate it if it's not for Jesus's birth? Because of the gifts and Santa?"

Yep. Ain't capitalism great?


BubblesTheMonkey Oh yeah! But other countries do the same exact thing... Oh well, that's not the worst thing someone could do in the world. But I still think it's hypocritical, no matter what the law says.


Gabriel Katniss990 wrote: "Oh yeah! But other countries do the same exact thing... Oh well, that's not the worst thing someone could do in the world. But I still think it's hypocritical, no matter what the law says."

People tend to forget about the law, religion, ethics, and morality and egalitarianism when presents are invovled.

I take it that you are religious?


Jerri In case you missed it, JKR quotes the Bible twice in the Deathly Hallows. 1st, Matthew 6:21 on Ariana's grave: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 2nd, 1 Corinthians 15:26 on James & Lilly Potter's grave stone: the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. As a Christian, they both jumped out at me.


message 20: by Molly (new)

Molly Katniss990 wrote: "Oh yeah! But other countries do the same exact thing... Oh well, that's not the worst thing someone could do in the world. But I still think it's hypocritical, no matter what the law says."

People celebrate it because it's fun. My favorite memory is christmas two years ago when I got my mom a pandora ring she had mentioned wanting that summer. The presents she got me were nice, but the look on her face when she saw that ring was the best part of the day, no doubt. I think that's why people celebrate christmas: because they love celebrating the people they love.


Lyndon FYI, the Hogwarts Professor has been blogging about the religious themes, literary allusions, and spiritual dimension to the HP books for almost 10 years. http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/

An example of just one of the many instances of Christian symbolism in the books is that HP dies (figuratively or literally) and rises again in each volume. Interesting allusion, imo.


Carita I was wondering about the religion thing too because they also have Easter Holidays.

A lot of people celebrate christmas just for fun, not religion. I had no clue about the bible verses, its a nice touch.


message 23: by AurorainBookland (last edited Jul 10, 2011 11:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

AurorainBookland Hogwarts is an interfaith school meaning some of the kids do have religions and they can all attend no matter what relition they are

but the celebrations seem to be about celebrating the holiday and not in a religious way, so that everyone no matter what they belive can take part in the celebrations.


BubblesTheMonkey Gabriel wrote: "Katniss990 wrote: "Oh yeah! But other countries do the same exact thing... Oh well, that's not the worst thing someone could do in the world. But I still think it's hypocritical, no matter what the..."

Yes.


BubblesTheMonkey Jerri wrote: "In case you missed it, JKR quotes the Bible twice in the Deathly Hallows. 1st, Matthew 6:21 on Ariana's grave: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 2nd, 1 Corinthians 15:26 on Jam..."

Really? I didn't even notice. So you don't think wizards celebrate Christmas for religion or that Dumbledore's family was religious or what??


BubblesTheMonkey Lyndon wrote: "FYI, the Hogwarts Professor has been blogging about the religious themes, literary allusions, and spiritual dimension to the HP books for almost 10 years. http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/

An exam..."


That is interesting. I normally don't get so deep that I look books off from "professors" and what not, but I can check him out. Thanks


BubblesTheMonkey Balletprincess wrote: "Hogwarts is an interfaith school meaning some of the kids do have religions and they can all attend no matter what relition they are

but the celebrations seem to be about celebrating the holida..."


But I always learned that your "religion" is something you believe in the most. Like how in China the people are forced to have a religious state of mind about their country.


Megan Baxter I think you're using the word "religious" when "dogmatic" might be more suitable.


BubblesTheMonkey Maybe... it depends on what exactly you mean. I just was wondering your opinions.


Megan Baxter Well, it is possible to be religious without being dogmatic, and to be dogmatic without being religious.

While in practice there is often overlap, there are those who are religious without insisting that others believe what they believe, and, as you pointed out, people who take other dogmas, such as nationalism, to be unassailable truths, but have nothing to do with religion.


Kerri There is a lot of religious symbolism in Harry Potter (as there is with a lot of fantasy). Christianity, God, or Jesus may not be directly addressed, but they are present (as far as symbols go). In the Deathly Hallows, I came across a few direct references to Christianity, especially the Bible. On Ariana's gravestone it says "Where you treasure is, there will your heart be also." Found in Matthew 6:21. So, I think Rowling is definitely influenced by Christianity. The fact they celebrate Christmas shows that maybe muggles and wizards are Christian, but I know Buddhists who celebrate Christmas too--the commercialized aspect of Christmas, they don't really know what they are celebrating--so it's not really a solid argument. But why would Rowling mention it if it doesn't mean anything? Rowling doesn't do anything accidentally or without a good reason (like it being significant to the plot).


Kerri Jerri wrote: "In case you missed it, JKR quotes the Bible twice in the Deathly Hallows. 1st, Matthew 6:21 on Ariana's grave: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 2nd, 1 Corinthians 15:26 on Jam..."

I was familiar with the Matthew one, but not Corinthians. I looked it up and read the other verses around it to get the context of the verse. I understand it to mean Jesus overcoming death...


BubblesTheMonkey There is a lot of hidden meaning in the book I didn't see before.


Old-Barbarossa Regarding christmas, people celebrated at that time of year before Christ (it's near the winter solstice), and many christians celebrate it at different times and in different ways (coptic christians in early January for instance).
I think you can celebrate at that time of year without being religious, if for no other reason than the winter has hit 1/2 way and the days are getting longer.


Lindis Russell I didn't read all the posts, so I may be repetitive here, but this is my thoughts on all of this. Some of this is my opinion. However I have read all of the books at least 4 times, some of them more. And before I get bashed, I am a Christian, I do believe in God and Jesus. But I am not a "bible beater"

I believe that Hogwarts is, well to put it simply, like public schools. Religion is not mentioned. Unless it's for a class. I'm sure that it is mentioned in Muggle studies. And in History of Magic. I'm sure that wizards were around during the Crusades. I think that children from all types of religion attend Hogwarts. Where England is mostly Christian that is why they celebrate Christmas, but just like any other public school would, with Christmas trees and decorations and presents. I do know that the wizard world does have Chirstmas Carols of their own, but I don't know if Jesus is mentioned.
I think that JKR was smart in leaving Jesus out of these books.

However, on the other hand, this is what made me so angry about those who protested Harry Potter when the movies started coming out. Yes, there is magic in the books, yes, there is a dark side to magic. There is a dark side to humans period. There is a dark side to religion. It's called evil, the devil etc.

I am happy with the fact that Harry Celebrated Christmas, PLUS! Harry had a Godfather. And I don't recall any where, do any actor in any of the movies use the Lords name in vain. (Or in the books too) To me, this is proof that religion is in their lives. That's good enough for me.

Worship, Where I can't say if there is a chapel at Hogwarts, I don't see Dumbledore telling any students that they can't get together on Sundays and do a Bible study or a small service. We let prayer groups happen in public schools. As far as the evil side of magic, I guess you could see it as "worshiping" the darker side of magic. And I guess that would be correct, because if you are drawn to the evil side of magic, and practice darker magic, you do not have God, Jesus or any religion in your life.


Lindis Russell Bela wrote: "I am a Christian as is my family, and I know there has been a debate in our house about the religious stuff in Harry Potter. The fact that they celebrate Christmas but don't really talk about it do..."

I personally do not see "wizardary" as a religion. In these books, it is not like Wicca. Nowhere in the books does a student, Ask a spirit or deity or being for help or power. They do not worship magic. Being a witch or wizard is in your DNA, like being able to roll your toung, you can either do it, or you can't. If you cannot do magic, you cannot bow to something, or pray to someone for help. = This is not worship, or religion.


message 37: by Lindis (last edited Jul 12, 2011 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lindis Russell Molly wrote: "Kressel wrote: "I always thought that JKR was raised secular, as are most people in the Western world, and the Harry Potter series was her way of answering the spiritual/religious question, "What h..."

Yeah, Maybe we will learn something more about the veil in Pottermore. But I doubt it. Then there's the ghosts.

For and example, my mom and I have different feelings about ghosts. She does not believe they exhist, when you die, you go to heaven, period.
I, believe. I'm not saying that if you happen to linger on this earth after you die, you won't go to heaven. But I believe that it is possible that you may die, stick around for a while, and then go to your deserved destination, heaven or hell.

Maybe the veil is like that, or MAYBE it's an evil magical object that someone created to lure wizards to their deaths. The voices beyond the veil are just an impression of thoes who have fell into it before. If you had a loved one, like Harry, fall into it, you would want to see them again, therefore you would die. Plus it was the only those who have seen death can hear anything from the veil. (Harry and Luna)

I think that if you fall into the veil, you die, period. You go to where you need to be. The voice and any images left behind, are just a trick.

It was locked up deep in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic, therefore it was a very dangerous item.


Old-Barbarossa "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke (Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible)

No necessary link between magic and religion...any more than physics and religion.


Lindis Russell Jerri wrote: "In case you missed it, JKR quotes the Bible twice in the Deathly Hallows. 1st, Matthew 6:21 on Ariana's grave: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 2nd, 1 Corinthians 15:26 on Jam..."

I love it! I'd forgotten about that! Thanks, if they didn't believe in Jesus, they wouldn't have had Bible verses on their gravestones.

Ok, I guess that anyone religious or not, can use words from the Bible. But they usually don't if they don't believe.


BubblesTheMonkey I would rather just believe that Hogwart's is like a "public" school, excently put, where their magic does not make a difference if they believe in Christianity and such.


Lindis Russell Yeah, me too. I't "public" because anyone no matter your money, where you live, your religion, or your family heritage can attend.

But I guess some would argue that it's "private" because you have to BE magical to attend. The classes are pointless if you aren't magical. : )


BubblesTheMonkey It also could be J.K. Rowling didn't want to say "winter" break because then people would really be confused (if they thought about it) and wonder if she means Christmas. It could just be another name for the breaks they need, also. But the quotes from the Bible, I'm not sure of.


Old-Barbarossa Katniss990 wrote: "It also could be J.K. Rowling didn't want to say "winter" break because then people would really be confused (if they thought about it) and wonder if she means Christmas. It could just be another n..."

As the stories are set in Britain I think the use of the phrase "winter break" would jar too much...like using vacation instead of holiday. I don't think much thought would have gone into refering to the christmas holidays, it's just what they're known as.


message 44: by BubblesTheMonkey (last edited Jul 12, 2011 04:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

BubblesTheMonkey Oh, really? I live in the U.S.A. and I've never been to Great Britain. Have you ever been to the U.S.?


Old-Barbarossa Katniss990 wrote: "Oh, really? I live in the U.S.A. and I've never been to Great Britain. Have you ever been to the U.S.?"

A few times many, many years ago.
Winston Churchill once said that Britain and America were divided by a common language.
On the note of language...in Britain a public school is actually a private school...the schools that are actually open to the public at large rather than fee paying tend to be refered to as state schools. Odd isn't it. This is for historical reasons. As to Hogwarts, if it isn't a fee paying school, if the Ministry take care of the costs, rather than parents and trust funds, it would probably be a state school.


BubblesTheMonkey Wow, that is interesting. That would be fun to go to London sometime and see how much different it is.


Martina Christmas is just stolen pagan holiday...it has nothing to do with Christ anyway.In my language Christmas is called "Vianoce"...do you see any Christ in it?No?i thought so...
I also celebrate Christmas and it means i enjoy being with my family having nice time.Nothing more.


BubblesTheMonkey But in the English language, that's what Christmas is; The celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. It doesn't matter, to me, what it's called. Any way you say "Christmas", even in different languages (though not directly meaning Christmas in your language, but the birth of Jesus Christ), is what I'm talking about when it comes to people who celebrate "Christmas" or the actual birth of Jesus Christ. I guess anyone could call their break "Christmas break" but to me, that seems a bit hypocritical, though nothing to complain about. I just wanted to know if they believed in Jesus Christ and such in Harry Potter.


message 49: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Jul 15, 2011 09:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Old-Barbarossa Katniss990 wrote: "I guess anyone could call their break "Christmas break" but to me, that seems a bit hypocritical..."

And yet christians still refer to the days of the week by using their heathen names...it's just convenient terminology that everyone understands. You don't have to be a viking to call Thursday after Thor...and yet in the english speaking world we all do...
And in english easter is named after a Saxon fertility goddess...whereas in most other languages it shares a root with "passover". Doesn't make you less christian..."a rose by any other name" etc...


Old-Barbarossa Katniss990 wrote: "I just wanted to know if they believed in Jesus Christ and such in Harry Potter..."

Probably in the same fairly secular way many people do.


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