Scottish author J. K. Rowling has written a wildly popular series of children's books about Harry Potter. Harry discovers on his 11th birthday that he is the son of two legendary wizards murdered by an evil magician named Voldemort. Harry has been living with his loathsome aunt and uncle (who make him sleep in a cupboard) and their mean son, Dudley.
The darkness in the Harry Potter books has alarmed some Christians, who claim that the books encourage an unhealthy and dangerous interest in the occult. Catholic writer Michael O’Brien says: “Rowling’s wizard world is gnostic in essence and practice, neutralizes the sacred and displaces it by normalizing what is profoundly abnormal and destructive in the real world.” But John Granger, author of Finding God in Harry Potter, believes that J. K. Rowling is following in the footsteps of C. S. Lewis in using magical themes to point up archetypal human experiences that relate to salvation history as understood by Christians.
In the third Harry Potter movie based on J. K. Rowling’s wondrous series of children’s novels, filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón takes the wheel from Chris Columbus, who steered both of the earlier pictures. It would be hard to think of a director with finer credentials for the job.
When the Harry Potter movie is released this fall, long lines at theaters are sure to provoke yet more speculation about the popularity of J. K. Rowling’s novels (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).