08 December 2005

Narnia & LOTR vs. HP

As discussed just about anywhere now, the Chronicles of Narnia are certainly chock-full of religious themes. Lord of the Rings is less blatantly religious, but Tolkien's work as a whole is based firmly in theology. What about Harry Potter (not that I consider it YET to be on the level of Narnia or LOTR; only time will tell)? Certainly good vs. evil is there. But what if any theology is present in Harry Potter? Rowling's oeuvre is limited to the Harry Potter books themselves, so unlike with Tolkien and Lewis we have no supporting clues to her message with respect to religion. Quite likely there is no message there...unlike Lewis and Tolkien, Rowling is a modern British writer. Modern Britain strikes me as only vaguely Christian any more.

Author/Work: Lewis/TLTWATW
Theology in this work? Blatant
Theology in entire oeuvre? Vehemently so
Religious in personal life? Very

Author/Work: Tolkien/LOTR
Theology in this work? Only obliquely
Theology in entire oeuvre? Very much so
Religious in personal life? One of the major modern Christian popular theologians of the 20th century...

Author/Work: Rowling/HP
Theology in this work? Characters celebrate Xmas and say "Oh My God". That's about it.
Theology in entire oeuvre? No other works yet
Religious in personal life? Got me.

This guy says Rowling may be a modern Inkling, but I reserve judgment awaiting further proof. And if Rowling is trying for subtle religiousity, a lot of folks (aka idiots) are of the opinion it's not in the Christian direction, shall we say. I don't believe Rowling is trying for a theological theme, just a moral one.