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Key Harry Potter Books — Is the Boy Wizard a Messiah Figure?
Key QuestionKey Question

Key Harry Potter Books — Is the Boy Wizard a Messiah Figure?

Key Question, our new show exclusive to Alpha,  follows Marisha and Matt on a train of logic to examine and analyze the hidden meanings in some of the most famous pop-culture figures, all on a quest to discover if pop culture is our salvation or our doom and everything in between. In this week’s episode, they tackle the topic of Harry Potter as a Christ-like figure and what that actually means.

Reading messianic qualities into a literary hero often met with “satanic panic” and scapegoated as a promoter of black magic may not seem seem possible, at first blush. There was even a volume of Alan Moore’s meta-epic the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which re-imagined Hogwarts’ #1 student as an antichrist figure in a world where all fantasies coexist. Of course, that’s the madness (and method) of Key Question. Finding the connections others miss. Seeing the undercurrents many overlook.

Fair warning: this may be the most arcane recommended reading list yet. But if you’ve been inspired to reexamine adventure fiction through lenses more academic, meditative, and philosophical, then you should feel emboldened to explore this particular rabbit hole all the way to the bottom. Why settle only for half-enlightenment?

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So, the first thing we advise doing is a reread of the seven core books in the Harry Potter series. Or just a regular read if you’re like the Dad on Master of None and are only just now coming around to the “good things” you’ve heard about this series. Start with Sorcerer’s Stone and finish with Deathly Hallows. With Key Questions‘ theories in mind, you may find completely different stories awaiting you between the covers, with all sorts of thematics you never noticed before. After that? Our recs gets decidedly more… esoteric.

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It’d be best to start with a more general survey, namely A Scholastic Miscellany: Anselm to Ockham by Eugene R. Fairweather. Replete with indexes and explanatory notes to help with all these translations of pre-sixteenth century works, this miscellany engages the contemporary reader with ideas that have shaped theology over the years, from the practical to the contemplative.

An understanding of history only benefits an exploration of theology, of course, as the meaning of scripture takes on different significance once the reader understands the context it was writ in. In Politics of Jesus, John Howard Yoder argues against the notion of the Messiah being an apolitical figure by examining the settings of the New Testament and then reexamining their relationship to the teachings therein.

Adding more points, and even some counterpoints, is Jurgen Moltmann’s The Crucified God: the Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology. Then, there’s the writing of an actual saint, one St. Ansalem of Canterbury, who wrote Cur Deus Homo (“Why God Became a Man”) in the eleventh century. If you can survive the shift from mass-market trade paperbacks to parchment treatises of the Middle Ages, you may have enough research at hand to start making your own theological inquiries at the hidden meanings of Harry. Happy hunting!

Key Question invites fans to dig deep into icons of pop culture and find the hidden meanings their creators intended (or the deeper depths those creators didn’t even realize they were adding)! Tune in on Alpha every week for a mind-expanding, horizon-broadening, brain-blasting head trip into geekdom. Don’t have an Alpha account? Join for a free 60-day trial with the promo code QUESTION at projectalpha.com!

Image Credits: Scholastic, Warner Bros, Westminster John Knox Press,
Fortress Press, Eerdmans

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

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