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The Harry Potter™ books:

Web sites, books and other helpful resources

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Read over 3,000 book reviews and/or order Harry Potter book 7 from Amazon.com

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Some Harry Potter web sites:

bulletReviews of Harry Potter web sites:
bullet HarryPotterReviews analyzes selected Harry Potter web sites. See: http://www.HarryPotterReviews.biz

bulletPositive portrayals by publishers, a fan club, and others:
bullet"Harry Potter for Seekers" explores the deep spiritual foundation of Harry Potter. See: http://www.harrypotterforseekers.com/
bulletThe American publisher, Scholastic Inc. has a web site featuring a question of the week, interview of the author, discussion chamber, trivia section and screen saver. See: http://www.scholastic.com/ 
bulletThe British publisher, Bloomsbury has a web site with a FAQ, excerpts from book reviews, a quiz. It has separate entrances for muggles and witches/wizards. See: http://www.bloomsbury.com/harrypotter/ If you have problems guessing a password, try the one at the bottom of this essay.
bulletOne of Harry's a fan clubs has a web site at: http://www.angelfire.com/

bulletNegative portrayals in conservative Christian web sites who believe that the Witchcraft in the books and the Witchcraft in the Bible are related:
bulletG.T. Armstrong, "Harry Potter Books," at: http://www.garnertedarmstrong.ws/
bulletG.T. Armstrong, "Witchcraft, Sorcery, and 'Harry Potter'," at: http://www.garnertedarmstrong.ws/
bulletMarcia Montenegro, "Harry Potter, Sorcery and Fantasy," at: http://cana.userworld.com/
bulletBerit Kjos, "Harry Potter lures kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders," at: http://www.crossroad.to/
bulletBerit Kjos, "Harry Potter and D&D - Like two peas in a pod?," at: http://www.crossroad.to/
bulletBerit Kjos, "Bewitched by Harry Potter," at: http://latter-rain.org/

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Books about Harry Potter:

bulletNegative portrayals: The following are books written from an Evangelical Christian perspective and are quite critical of what the authors interpret as dangerous "occult" content in the Harry Potter books that is a threat to every reader. These authors seem to link:
bulletWicca, a Neopagan religion based on Celtic pagan symbols, names of deities and seasonal days of celebration) with

bulletFantasy witchcraft (an alternative universe of unicorns, griffins, magical hats, talking animals, invisibility cloaks, flying broomsticks, etc.)

Reviewers tend to either love or hate these books. They regularly receive either one (the minimum) or five (the maximum) stars by reviewers at Amazon.com; few are lukewarm.

bulletRichard Abanes, "Harry Potter and the Bible : The Menace Behind the Magick," Horizon Books, (2001). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Reviews range from "These people would be burning withches [sic] if they thought it wouldn't land them in jail. The same mentality that gave us the Salem witch trials, the Crusades (mass murder of indigenous peoples), the Inquistition, [sic] etc..." to "This book is a must read. Finally, a well-reasoned, rational, thoughtful, articulate, presentation of the concerns so many people have been trying to express..."

bulletNeutral portrayal:
bulletConnie Neal, "What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?," Waterbrook Press, (2001). Read reviews or order this book. Publishers Weekly reviewed this book, saying in part: "Neal navigates a via media [sic] by offering support to Christians who have decided to boycott the series, but also giving suggestions to parents who wish to read and discuss the books with their children. Spiritual discernment, Neal says, is the key for any Christian and an important quality to help children develop."

Ms. Neal comments on her book: "Christians are divided over this issue, but the answer is not to side-step around it. We need to make the most of the unprecedented opportunities Harry Potter affords us. I show you how you can, whether you end up pro or con on Harry, while maintaining unity and civility in the body of Christ."

"If you are firmly set against Harry Potter, I won't try to dissuade you, as that is one biblically viable position. However, I will offer you facts to shed light on false rumors, help you protect your kids from real-world occult, help you understand the stories without having to read them, and help you explain your decision to your kids."

bulletPositive portrayals: These are reviews by authors who are not conservative Christians, and who evaluate the Harry Potter books as delightful fantasy novels.
bulletDavid Colbert, "The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter," Lumina Press, (2001). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. A review on Amazon.com states: "J. K. Rowling fills her books with references to history, myths, legends and literature. Here are the stories behind the stories - - the astonishing origins of magical creatures, the clues to hidden meanings in names, and stories of real-life wizards mentioned in the Harry Potter series."
bulletAZ Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek, "The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter," Broadway Books, (2001). Read reviews or order this book. Intended for ages 9 to 12. It is very highly rated by Amazon.com's reviewers. Amazon says, in part: "From astrology to Grindylow to reading tea leaves to witch persecution, this fascinating volume gets to the bottom of every magical mystery connected with Hogwarts."
bulletDavid B. Mouser, "Harry Potter's Muggles' Guide to Magic," David B Mouwse, (2001). Read reviews or order this book. Two brief reviews: "Absolutely a MUST for a quick and easy reference to the magical world of Harry Potter!" and "My school children love the easy to read format and the illustrations are fantastic."
bulletPhilip Nel, "J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide (Continuum Contemporaries) - Unauthorized," Continuum Pub. Group, (2001). Read reviews or order this book. The publisher writes: "It features a biography of the author, a full-length analysis of the novels, and a fascinating discussion of what has made them so phenomenally successful."

bullet A novel portrayal:

 Derek Murphy is a writer and artist from Portland, Oregon, specializing in Christian history. His first book is: "Jesus Potter Harry Christ: The Fascinating Parallels Between Two of the World's Most Popular Literary Characters." He’s now in Taiwan finishing his PhD in Comparative Literature and working on his second book.

Amazon.com's product description is, in part:
Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a well-reasoned and meticulously referenced (but not overly academic) non-fiction treatise on religious history, comparative mythology, astrological symbolism, and modern culture. How and why Jesus Christ, who is traditionally considered a historical figure, shares anything in common with the modern re-telling of ancient folklore that emerges in the character of Harry Potter, is the basis for this innovative investigation.

After exploring the religious controversy surrounding the Harry Potter series and tracing the similarities between Jesus and Harry, Jesus Potter Harry Christ dives into ancient mythology, astrology, gnosticism, and Christian history, to see if Jesus can be distinguished from Harry based on the claim that Jesus was a real historic figure, while Harry Potter is obviously a fable. Just how much of the gospel accounts of Jesus are based on pre-existing mythology? Can we find the historical founder of Christianity by removing the mythology from around him? Is there reliable evidence that Jesus Christ was a historical person? Discover how the contemporary fictional hero Harry Potter can help us to recognize and explore the symbolism in Christian literature and establish the critical relevancy of the literary Jesus.

Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. Amazon sells it for $19.95 in paperback and $1.99 in Kindle format.

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Sponsored links:

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References used in our essays on Harry Potter:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Paul Gray: "Wild about Harry: The exploits of a young wizard have enchanted kids and adults alike and brought a new kind of magic to children's literature," Time Magazine, 1999-SEP-20. See: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/
  2. "Harry Potter," at: http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/books/ 
  3. Berit Kjos, "Bewitched by Harry Potter," at: http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/Harry9-99.html
  4. Paul Gray: "A primer on Harry's world," Time Magazine, 1999-DEP-20, at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/
  5. "Meet J.K. Rowling," at: http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/author/ 
  6. Pamela Newby, "Harry Potter Controversy," CBN News, at: http://www.cbn.org/newsstand/stories/991020b.asp 
  7. Lindy Beam, "Exploring Harry Potter's world," Focus on the Family, at: http://www.family.org/pplace/pi/genl/A0008833.html 
  8. Article in USA Weekend for 1999-NOV-12, quoted in Ref. 7
  9. Book reviews quoted in Amish Country Gifts' web site at: http://www.amishcountrygifts.com/potter.html They refer to the first book in the series.
  10. Judy Blume, "Is Harry Potter evil?," New York Times, Op-Ed page, 1999-OCT-22. Reprinted at: http://www.judyblume.com/articles/harry_potter_oped.html 
  11. "Closing the Harry Potter Divide," The Luddite Reader, at: at: http://ludditereader.com/Stuff/other/FindLudd/News/ 
  12. "Muggles for Harry Potter," at: http://www.mugglesforharrypotter.org/
  13. "Family Friendly Libraries," at: http://www.fflibraries.org/
  14. "What is wrong with Harry Potter," at:  http://www.fflibraries.org/Book_Reports/HarryPotter/
  15. Reuters' article from London, UK, 2000-MAR-29
  16. "Harry Potter Books Alarm UK Christian Educators," CNS News, 2000-MAR-29, at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/
  17. "Parents say Harry Potter books promote 'hatred and rebellion'," The Associated Press 2000-JAN-26. Online at: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/00/01/st012722.html
  18. Chuck Colson, Breakpoint program for 1999-NOV-2. He was quoted in ReligionToday for 1999-DEC-1 
  19. Terry Mattingly, "Harry Potter 1," On Religion column for 1999-OCT-27. See: http://news.crosswalk.com/article/0,6777,2731~333,00.htm
  20. Audrey Woods, "At the heart of Harry," Associated Press, reprinted in Toronto Star, 2000-JUL-7, Page E14.
  21. Daniel Zanoza, "The danger of Harry Potter," Chicago Tribune, 2000-JUL-13, at: http://chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/voiceofthepeople/
  22. Matthew Creamer & Thomas Hackett, "Kids, booksellers wild about Harry," Daily News, 2000-JUL-9.
  23. Johnathan Zimmer, "Harry Potter and his censors," Education Week, 2000-AUG-2. 
  24. Pamela Newby, "Harry Potter Controversy," Christian Broadcasting Network, 1999-OCT-20, at: http://www.cbn.org/newsstand/stories/991020b.asp 
  25. Roger Lynn, "Harry Potter chain letter," at: http://urbanlegends.about.com/science/urbanlegends/
  26. "Protest planned for 'Harry Potter' filming," at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/00b/20000818a.htm  
  27. Stan Josey, "Harry Potter's magic restored by school board: Notoriety forces Durham to lift classroom limits," The Toronto Star, 2000-SEP-19, Page A1 (Front page)
  28. "Harry Potter in trouble -- censorship or legitimate concerns over the separation of church and state?," AANEWS, American Atheists, news release 2000-SEP-22.
  29. "Wizards and Mubbles," editorial, Christian Century, 1999-DEC-1.
  30. Alan Jacobs, cited in Berit Kjos, "Harry Potter lures kids to Witchcraft - with praise from Christian leaders," at: http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/Harry&Witchcraft.htm 
  31. "Harry Potter banned from school," 2001-JAN-26, Religion Today, at: http://news.crosswalk.com/religion/item/

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Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" religious topics > Harry Potter > here

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Copyright © 2000 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-JUL-3
Latest update: 2011-APR-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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