Rowling and religion in CL (was DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Fri Feb 20 04:49:18 EST 2004


Charlie:

>That seems a good analogy. From my slight-to-non-existent acquaintance with
>Potter I'd have thought it's pretty much a social thing there too, isn't it?
>Rowling may simply be copying the *mores* of England - which is (I seem to
>remember reading recently) now apparently the least religious country in the
>world -despite having all the trappings of a state religion, and a statutory
>requirement to teach religion in schools. One possible test: does anyone
>talk about, or even mention, religion outside the formal parameters of
>school assembly (or wherever it is they do their communal praying)? If the
>Potterverse is England in disguise, I doubt it; and I think that, growing up
>in such a society, Rowling could be forgiven for missing the fact that
>Christmas and Easter were once considered religious festivals as well as
>being the names of school holidays.

Not pausing to quibble over the 'were once considered' to agree 
instead with Ros's point that there should be a variety of religions 
represented in the Potterverse, even if one is to forgive Rowling the 
other.  I mean, come on, if schools in *Dublin* are now aware that 
they need to give some kids homework off on the last day of Ramadan, 
it shouldn't be beyond Rowling to bring this awareness of different 
religious backgrounds into her books.

It appears (and I'm working from second-hand information mostly, as I 
stopped at number four) that JKR is actively working to answer some 
of the criticisms about the Potterverse - one such being the relative 
poverty of racial diversity and richness in the earlier books 
especially.  I don't know if it would improve things much were she to 
throw vaguely Jewish and Muslin elements in with her vaguely 
Christian ones, but the omission is certainly not great.

Hallie.

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