J.K. Rowling on Gospel Themes in Harry Potter

It is not exactly breaking news to say that the Harry Potter books contain a […]

David Zahl / 5.13.09

It is not exactly breaking news to say that the Harry Potter books contain a fair amount of explicitly Christian material. Still, I was unaware that J.K. Rowling had ever commented directly on the matter. In preparation for tonight’s Mockingbird meeting, I came across the following excerpts from an interview conducted after the release of The Deathly Hallows. Nothing too profound but encouraging nonetheless:

“The truth is that, like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes that my faith will return. It’s something I struggle with a lot. On any given moment if you asked me [if] I believe in life after death, I think if you polled me regularly through the week, I think I would come down on the side of yes — that I do believe in life after death. [But] it’s something that I wrestle with a lot. It preoccupies me a lot, and I think that’s very obvious within the books.”

“They’re very British books, so on a very practical note Harry was going to find biblical quotations on tombstones, [but] I think those two particular quotations he finds on the tombstones at Godric’s Hollow, they sum up — they almost epitomize the whole series.”

Of course, the quotations to which she’s referring are:

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19)

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:26)

As an aside, if you’re looking for the Jarvis Cocker-Harry Potter connection, look no further than The Weird Sisters frontman in Goblet of Fire. And yes, that’s Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead on guitar…