Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Thomas Hibbs’s review makes clear--without ever saying it in so many words-- the ways in which Rowling’s story is Tolkienesque.
Both links were lovely, thank you. And maybe I will dig out my old copies of Tolkien and try again--but if I start talking elf talk I'll blame you!
Seriously, however, a graduate student in theology from Baylor called in today on Hugh Hewitt's program to defend the Potter series against an assault from a previous caller who was caught up in the whole "magic is evil" meme. He said that he thought Rowling was engaged in something decisively Christian (and it sounds like Hibbs may agree) in that the highest virtue and honor of these books is the giving of one's life for one's friends. John Mark Reynolds, who was discussing the book with Hewitt, responded to a caller who worried that these books were favorably viewed by members of some Pagan groups, that those Pagans were biting off more than they bargained for in embracing the Presbyterian Rowling. And, besides, such people more than double the level of interest in their opinions by the mere mention of them on a show like Hewitt's!
Thank you for the articles. I actually just listened to that radio show online, and though I haven't gotten into Harry Potter I am a supporter. (Turns out Rowlings is a Presbyterian!) And after reading the First Things article I have made up my mind to revisit my first love before summer runs out. Without digressing too much, I must say the passages on Gondor's childless-ness Mathie cites show the amazing insight Tolkien had into human nature; we see the very same problem affecting the West today.
Please do read them, Julie. Once you get through the introductions and such the plot picks up quickly. It took me about one summer to read them in junior high - one half of the summer to read the first 150 pages or so, and the other half to finish the trilogy and appendices.
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