Tag Archives: banned books week

Around the Common Room: October 12, 2012

The Hog’s Head isn’t the only site pulling out the Halloween props–ghosts, spooks and goblins are all over the web! To begin, you may want to get your Potter-themed costume from OfficialHarryP

otterCostumes.com. Though making your own is always a perfectly good choice, too.

On Blu-Ray this fall: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection, which includes such famed monsters as The Phantom of the Opera, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Mummy.

Definitely frightening: a pie chart of Voldemort’s soul, describing what percentage is in which Horcrux (assuming a 50/50 split every time).

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Why Was Harry Potter Challenged?

Well, it's been a really exciting Banned Books Week, as I've managed to get up just one post.  I got completely buried in work this week, missed both of my classes as well as both of the assignments for those classes.

As Banned Books Week wraps up, I'll toss out another interesting conversation for discussion: Why has Harry Potter been so frequently challenged?  (By “challenged,” I mean, “attempted to ban”).  Is it really a genuine belief that the books are going to lead kids into the occult?  Or is there something underlying that belief?  Here are a few suggestions on my part.  You can run with these or suggest your own.

  • Culture-War Christianity – There is a certain segment of Christianity that seems to always be at war with something in culture. They tend to be defined primarily by what they're against, as opposed to what they're for.  These moral crusaders need a cause, and the popularity of Harry Potter made it a prime target.
  • Spiritual-Warfare Christianity – There is another segment of Christianity that tends to find evil spiritu

    al forces dangerously at work in everything.  Harry Potter became something that would not just negatively affect the minds of young children, but something that would actually put them in contact with demons.

  • Anti-Sacramentalism – I think lying beneath these two is a loss of belief in a relationship between the physical and the spiritual.  In other words, gnosticism.  Because symbols don't really communicate spiritual grace in an anti-sacramentalist belief system, the Christian symbols of Harry Potter were never enough to convince them of its Christian content.  They are biblical literalists in the strictest sense of the term, leading to the belief that the “witches” and “wizards” in Harry Potter couldn't have been anything other than the magicians condemned in the Scriptures, because those words have “objective” meanings.  For Harry Potter to have been approved by an anti-sacramentalist, Harry would have to have been an explicit Christian in the story, with a gospel conversion and all, and Voldemort would have been the leader of some Satanic cult.  

Your thoughts on these or other reasons and much appreciated!


Banned Books Week

Thanks to everyone who has been participating in the great discussions of Sorcerer's Stone Week!  I'm hoping to catch up with them and join them soon.  We're transitioning now into Banned Books Week, which begins today.  I won't be doing a “Day 1,” “Day 2,” etc. like with this past week.  But be sure to visit often for frequent material this week on Banned Books.

As we all know, our beloved Harry Potter books have been challenged and banned, and at least a few of these challenges have

gotten a lot of attention.  So this is a topic that is close to the heart of the Harry Potter fan.  

Here's some introductory reading material on banned books to get your week started: