The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


July 9, 2007

J.K. Rowling believes in God

In less than two weeks, fans will be able to read the seventh and final Harry Potter book. Harry Potter theoreticians and bloggers are prognosticating everywhere—even in a recent Religion News Service story.

To those who write off author J.K. Rowling as promoting witchcraft: Give her a chance. Let’s see what she does with this huge opportunity to say something important to a worldwide audience of youth. So far, there’s a lot to value. Harry Potter himself has learned about compassion, friendship and love over the course of the first six books.

Rowling’s books are creative fantasy. It’s not Shakespeare, but the places, creatures, and magical objects are wonderfully inventive. Her main characters are flawed, but good kids. We see them in all of their loving, silly, fearful, petty, angst-ridden, compassionate glory.

I hope there’s a redemptive theme to it all .... I’m guessing that Rowling will pull it off. She’s said in interviews that she believes in God and is a churchgoer.

This interview appears in Accio Quote!, a source of things Rowling/Harry Potter:

Harry, of course, is able to battle supernatural evil with supernatural forces of his own, and Rowling is quite clear that she doesn’t personally believe in that kind of magic -- ‘’not at all.’’ Is she a Christian?

‘’Yes, I am,’’ she says. ‘’Which seems to offend the religious right far worse than if I said I thought there was no God. Every time I’ve been asked if I believe in God, I’ve said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what’s coming in the books.’’

What’s coming? Two Saturdays from today, after the kids go down for their naps, I’ll find out.

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