With the latest and final Harry Potter film opening tomorrow night (after midnight), I've been busily discussing J. K. Rowling's novels and my own work of literary criticism about them, Values of Harry Potter.
Yesterday I sat down with Diana Hsieh of Noodle Food to record a 40-minute podcast. We discuss the Potter films and the basic appeal of the novels. We also talk about the novels' values, religious themes, psychology, and politics. (Clarification: Generally one fights a dementor with a Patronus and a boggart with "riddikulus." But, to Harry, a boggart appears as a dementor. This will make sense to you only if you're read the books.)
Today Skeptic Magazine published my article, "Religion in Harry Potter," for its weekly online newsletter. I review the themes of immortality, Christ-like love, free will, and faith. As readers of my book know, I recognize important religious themes in the Potter novels but don't think they play a very large role in motivating the characters.
Last week, Boulder Weekly published my article, Harry Potter explores life's big questions." It begins, "Parents who take their children to see the Harry Potter films enjoy a fun family night. But unless they dig deeper into the stories, parents miss a great opportunity to explore life’s biggest issues with their children." I touch on the psychology, politics, and basic values of the novels.
I conclude that piece, "The stories offer thrilling literature alive with dragons and magical duels. But readers miss a great deal if they ignore the rich themes of psychology, politics and philosophy. Harry never had parents able to share these discussions. Your children do."
I hope you'll check out the complete works!