Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Lives, God Dies

I found Lev Grossman's short article on the death of God in the Harry Potter series interesting. In it he writes:
Rowling's work is so familiar that we've forgotten how radical it really is. Look at her literary forebears. In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien fused his ardent Catholicism with a deep, nostalgic love for the unspoiled English landscape. C.S. Lewis was a devout Anglican whose Chronicles of Narnia forms an extended argument for Christian faith. Now look at Rowling's books. What's missing? If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God.

Harry Potter lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by ghosts but has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn't. Rowling has more in common with celebrity atheists like Christopher Hitchens than she has with Tolkien and Lewis.
I've not read the Christian books evaluating Harry Potter. But it seems most of what I've read from Christians has been critical of the series because of the real-world witchcraft it contains. Then I heard about John Granger's book Looking for God in Harry Potter which seems to find redemptive value in them. I'm curious where readers of Between Two Worlds fall on this issue. Anyone know about Granger's book? And if a secular writer like Grossman discerns the death of God in the Potter series should Christians take the time to go looking for him there?