The Potterverse (was; DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Fri Feb 20 16:15:47 EST 2004


I've been wondering off and on all day about the Potter-religion thing, and
it has finally sent me into one of my periodic taxonomic spasms - apologies
in advance. It seems to me that there are three major ways of orientating
witchcraft to religion:

1) Witches are servants of the devil - the official Christian line for most
of Christianity's history (not so sure about now!)

2) Witches are practitioners of a pre-Christian 'Old Religion' - the theory
associated with Margaret Murray and latterly taken over within Wicca.

3) The word 'witch' (or 'wizard') simply describes a certain innate ability
to do magic - like being double-jointed, and has nothing to do with belief
or affiliation at all.

Now, if the Potterverse followed lines 1 or 2, it would be quite incongruous
for Hogwarts to have Christmas, hymns, etc. But from what I understand it is
much closer to 3. This makes for less of a difficulty, theologically
speaking. On the other hand, I'd expect there to be continual discussions
about the causes of magic - how exactly does it work? Just as there
would be if we discovered that a significant part of the population was able
to practise telepathy, say. Are there such discussions in HP?

Charlie

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