The Gospel According to Harry Potter: Spirituality in   the Stories of the World's Favorite Seeker  -     By: Connie Neal
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The Gospel According to Harry Potter: Spirituality in the Stories of the World's Favorite Seeker

Westminster John Knox Press / Paperback

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  1. Leader's Guide

Product Description

In a book that is sure to delight Harry Potter fans and spiritual seekers alike, Connie Neal embarks on an exploration into J.K. Rowling's created world of magic and mystery and enumerates more than fifty "Potteran" themes that can be seen as glimmers of the Christian gospel. With an arsenal of charming allusions and parallels, Neal persuasively demonstrates that Harry Potter need not be rejected as a threat to the Christian faith, as some have claimed. Written accessibly in short three- to four-page chapters, Neal's The Gospel According to Harry Potter is both a much-needed stroke of interpretive genius and a fascinating reflection on our time's most popular literary series. This is a must-read for everyone intrigued by the Harry Potter phenomenon.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN: 0664226019
ISBN-13: 9780664226015
Series: Gospel According to

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Library Journal

The author of more than 30 books, Neal (What's a Christian To Do with Harry Potter) makes another entry in the field of explication of Harry Potter according to Gospel standards. While such an effort may seem ill-conceived to the casual observer, Neal's attempt is far from the first of its kind (think of The Gospel According to Peanuts) and not alone in the current book market (think of The Gospel According to the Simpsons, by which the author admits she was inspired). Neal's approach is not surprising, drawing moral lessons from Rowling's explicitly moral books, adding her own Scriptural parallels but her defense of the books should be a welcome ally for many librarians and readers who have seen the Potter series assailed for its depiction of magic. For most collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Publisher's Weekly

Westminster John Knox Press had a hit a generation ago with The Gospel According to Peanuts, and is now rapidly expanding the franchise, with The Gospel According to the Simpsons released last year and titles on J.R.R. Tolkien and Disney still to come. This entry by Neal (What's a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?) takes on J.K. Rowling's conservative Christian critics with an exhaustive enumeration of parallels some striking, some skimpy between Rowling's fictional world and the tenets of Christian belief. Platform nine and three-quarters becomes a reminder of the nature of faith; Albus Dumbledore shows mercy much like the Christian God. Neal is well aware that pagan readers of the series can find plenty of parallels of their own to the world of witchcraft, and she admits that such prooftexting is only marginally more substantial than finding castles and chariots in cloud formations, but she plods on doggedly nonetheless. The overall effect is disappointing on two fronts. Readers will find little here that genuinely illuminates Rowling's moral or literary vision, at least any more than Dumbledore does himself in his more sermonic moments. And juxtaposed with Harry's fantastic world, the claims of Christianity seem to lose rather than gain plausibility, becoming just another interesting fairy tale. Still, Christian fans of Harry will be glad that someone is countering the critics, and Neal's earnest writing may win both Rowling and the Gospels a few new readers. (Sept.) Forecast: WJKP has sold more than 10 million copies of its Peanuts book and, more recently, 70,000 copies of The Gospel According to the Simpsons. Notwithstanding its flaws, and despite the stiffening competition (the Doubleday book reviewed below will be joined in January by a St. Martin's title on the spirituality of Harry Potter), this could be a hit. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 26, 2010
    Jill Williamson
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    I recently finished the devotional book I was doing with my son in the mornings before he left for school. So I went to my husbands office and snooped around for a book that might work. (He is a pastor.) And I found this book on his shelf. Since my son loves the Harry Potter stories, I thought this would be a neat book to read with him each day. I was not disappointed. I found this book interesting and insightful. It enabled my son and I to talk about a lot of the different aspects in the Harry Potter stories and compare and contract them with what the Bible says. I enjoyed the discussions that arose with my son from reading each chapter. I highly recommend this book to parents looking to connect with their children in a similar way.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 23, 2005
    I have read this book. I am a youth leader in my church, and have written an essay contrasting the religious versus secular approaches that should be discussed with children who would read the Harry Potter series. Ms. Neal is plainly responding to the closed-minded critics that refuse to read Harry Potter books. She does an excellent job of using the Harry Potter series (through the fourth book) to relate everyday problems that children the ages surrounding that of Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through. This book is not a perfectly Christian book, but I shall not be a stone thrower. I agree that is a great resource for finding information on books; I do however believe that a review of a book by someone who has not read it rings rather hollow. I would recommend this book for parents, Sunday school teachers, pastors, and youth who want to ground their spiritual walk with their love for fantastical fiction.
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