Is Harry Potter A Religion? This Podcast Says Yes

By Ilona Higgins - Flickr: Colour version, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
By Ilona HigginsFlickr: Colour version, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link
The Harry Potter faithful are heeding the Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast.

The fact that Harry Potter fans have been religiously faithful to the series is no more a metaphor. Today, Harry Potter may be turning into a religion in its actual sense. If looked at from a religious angle, it is not too difficult to look at the Harry Potter series as having spiritual themes, with questions that take a person on a deep journey to his own self. That is exactly what a Cambridge, MA podcast did. This religious recasting of the series has received lot of positive reception by Harry Potter fans.

Is Harry Potter A Religion? This Podcast Says Yes[/tweetthis]

Harvard Divinity School graduates Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile have re-imagined the seven-book series in a way not many may have done so far. However, it is a well-known fact that the love fans have been having for Harry Potter is very close to being religious. Now, these fans see a fulfillment to their otherwise newly-discovered, but unguided faith. Fans have even said as much through a series of tweets. Just as Jediism has emerged as a new religion based on the Star Wars series, another new religious movement is on its way with Harry Potter at its core.

With listeners numbering from between 55,000 to 60,000 a week on iTunes, the Harry Potter podcasts have drawn a crowd so big on the religion and spirituality charts it has even surpassed evangelists like Joel Osteen.. Zoltan, an assistant Humanist chaplain at Harvard, explains that Harry Potter has a number of features that are similar to religion. This includes, deep human values, spells and incantations, rituals, institutional norms and others. The duo also explains that just as various religious communities have their own religious texts, these podcasts will help Harry Potter fans rediscover the spiritual wisdom underlying J.K. Rowling's conception of the series.

The comparison of the Harry Potter series to religion is an echo of what Christian scholars have been pointing out for a long time. Experts on Christianity have often insisted Harry Potter has elements that are very Christian in their nature. However, religious Christian and Muslim leaders have opposed the series, accusing it of “promoting witchcraft.”

Named Harry Potter and The Sacred Text, the online show is gaining popularity at a very fast rate. Listeners reveal that they feel they are represented more in the Harry Potter series than in other religious texts. As such, for those who feel they have nothing to relate to in the Bible or Quran, perhaps Harry Potter can offer a more viable option.


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