On June 26, 1997, the world was forever changed by the publication of a story, which single-handedly sparked a love of reading in the hearts of millions, generated billions of dollars in profits, and led to one of the most contested debates in the history of literature. Author Joanne Rowling made her debut in the United Kingdom with the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, under the pen name J. K. Rowling. Though the book made respectable profits for London’s Bloomsbury Publishing Company, it was not until Scholastic bought the United States publication rights that the book became a cultural phenomenon.i
Despite its massive success, the Harry Potter series has its fair share of critics. Large numbers of conservative Christians have denounced the books for their supposed promotion of witchcraft and occult practices, which are forbidden by the Bible. The reach of this argument is strong enough that some schools have pulled the series from their library shelves, as in the case of Cedarville School District, which required a signed permission slip for students to check the books out.ii Conversely, many liberal Christians have praised Harry Potter for its reflection of religious themes, and some have gone as far as arguing that Harry is a modern-day depiction of Jesus Christ.iii Whether or not Rowling intended Harry to be viewed as a messiah remains unknown, but it is fair to conclude that the seven-book Harry Potter series does not undermine religion by introducing witchcraft to young readers, but rather contains evidence of the possible existence of a Christian God and afterlife within the wizarding world.
Before examining whether Rowling’s novels threaten or reinforce the piety of young Christians, readers may wonder why this issue is so pressing. They may ask what it is about Harry Potter that provokes people to dedicate entire books to examining its religious merit. The answer lies in how this series, in particular, pervades popular culture. No other publication aimed at children has made as widespread of an impact as Rowling’s series. Harry Potter changed the very way people perceived children’s literature. Previously, publishers had assumed that kids could not pay attention long enough to read expanded novels. Yet, the later Potter books published between 2006 and 2016, contained up to 700 pages. During this same period, a 115.5% increase in the average length of a children’s book was seen.iv Similarly, sales of children’s books, which were dying out before the Harry Potter phenomenon, increased by fifty-two percent since 2004.v Sales for the series reached such high numbers that The New York Times was pressured to create a separate bestseller list for children’s books, in order to clear room for adult publications that could not break through Rowling’s continued popularity.vi Scores of celebrities reached commercial success thanks to the books: John and Hank Green became YouTube stars with their video “Accio Deathly Hallows”, and Darren Criss’s Broadway career was launched after his performance in A Very Potter Musical went viral.
A host of other attractions have been created in response to the series, including theme parks, real-life Quidditch leagues, websites, movies, musicals, and “Wizard Rock” groups.vii Harry Potter’s prevalence in popular culture is nearly impossible to avoid. Those who feel the series is a bad influence are bombarded by film advertisements and Potter paraphernalia, which line the shelves of libraries, bookshops, video stores, and clothing shops. Religious parents that denounce the series likely have to deflect the pleas of their children, who wish to read the books along with their friends. It is no wonder that fed up conservative Christians feel the need to speak out against books they believe are demonic, which in turn prompts fans of the novels to react.
Keeping the cultural context of Harry Potter discourse in mind, it is important to understand which groups are involved in the debate and what their perspectives on the issue are. The main criticism of Rowling’s series is that it promotes witchcraft to children, despite biblical admonitions against such practices. This argument is generally raised by conservative Christians, particularly members of the Orthodox sect, who believe biblical passages are ultimate truths. Various writers and authorities have spoken on the matter, elaborating that they feel the Harry Potter books trivialize occult practices without acknowledging their satanic origins. Much of their outrage stems from the fact that the books are advertised to children, who may lack religious understandings of the world and consequently believe that magic, not finding a relationship with God, is the only way to defeat evil.viii
Though these fears may seem absurd to those with only basic understandings of Christianity, witchcraft and similar practices are directly addressed in the Bible. Moses, one of the early prophets, told his followers that:
“there shall not be found among you...one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells… For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord”.ix
If God views witchcraft as an abomination, Christians assume that the magic associated with it comes from Satan, the source of all Earthly sin. In the Bible, Satan is depicted as intelligent, manipulative, and a master of seduction. His goal is to separate humans from God through any means possible. Christians, therefore, believe that Satan can use any medium, including art, music, and literature, to cause people to turn from God, without even realizing it.x As Pope Benedict XVI mentioned in a letter to the author of Harry Potter- Good or Evil?, there are “subtle seductions” at work within the novels that “deeply affect and corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it could properly grow and mature”.xi Though the Harry Potter novels seem innocent to non-religious people, conservative Christians believe the books hide secret evils that children must be protected from.
While conservative Christians condemn Harry Potter as an attack on their faith, there are doubtlessly many fans who have responded in defense of the series. The counterarguments that exist vary widely in both point of view and the backgrounds of the people making them. Advocates of Rowling’s work include liberal Christians, atheists, agnostics, and believers of various other faiths. Some of these people attempt to find a middle ground between the extreme ends of the debate, claiming that Harry Potter integrates enough subtle Christian themes to counter assertions that it attacks the religion while also remaining universally accessible to all faiths.xii
Others, such as John Killinger, in his book The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Harry Potter, insist that Rowling’s story is nothing other than a modern retelling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with Harry as the Christ figure. Killinger states his opinion as fact, as he speculates that Rowling was possibly chosen by God to introduce Jesus to a new generation of readers. He also proposes that Harry’s popularity may have resulted from the subconscious realization among readers that he is similar to Jesus Christ, who Killinger identifies as the perfect figure that all humans adore, whether they admit to their feelings or not.xiii Still, others believe that children’s ability to discern fantasy from reality is severely underestimated. Connie Neal exasperatedly explains in her book, The Gospel According to Harry Potter, that children are not given enough credit and that they can read stories about magic without engaging in occult practices, no matter how similar aspects of the story are to real-life conceptions of spells and potion-making. She uses her novel to highlight similarities between the series and the Bible and show that just because they have certain aspects in common does not necessarily mean that one promotes the other.xiv These examples are only a small portion of the various books and articles written to refute the conservative Christian criticisms of Harry Potter promotes witchcraft. While most of the counterclaims acknowledge the religious themes present in Rowling’s series, none of them go so far as to investigate the possibility that a Christian God or afterlife could exist within Harry’s world.
One obvious piece of evidence that an afterlife exists within the Harry Potter novels is the appearance of ghosts throughout Hogwarts. The Hogwarts ghosts are “pearly-white and slightly transparent”, and able to glide through the air and walk through solid objects. Each of the four houses has its own ghost, such as Gryffindor’s Nearly Headless Nick, Slytherin’s Bloody Baron, Ravenclaw’s Grey Lady (or Helena Ravenclaw), and Hufflepuff’s Fat Friar. Other spirits that linger in the halls include Peeves, the resident prankster, and Moaning Myrtle, a young student who died in the girls’ bathroom.xv Although some Christians argue that the soul immediately departs from the Earthly realm at the moment of death, the Bible contains evidence that spirits exist. Despite God’s warning not to consult mediums, Saul, the first king of Israel, used one to speak with the spirit of Samuel, the first Jewish prophet. When she summoned the spirit, “Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stopped with his face to the ground and bowed down. Now Samuel said to Saul ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’”xvi Traditional Christians may not agree that the ghosts in Harry Potter implicate religious notions of an afterlife, but their presence implies that life continues after death.
The notion of a Christian afterlife within the Harry Potter universe is further reinforced by the religious characters who appear in the story. It is not outright stated that any of the characters in the series identify with Christianity, or any other belief system for that matter, but analysis of textual evidence and statements made by Rowling can lead readers to such conclusions. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry realized that the destruction of the Sorcerer’s Stone would lead to the death of Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel, as it had sustained them past the natural life-span of humans. Harry is amazed by Dumbledore’s nonchalance, but his headmaster explains that the couple has accepted their fate because “to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure”.xvii Readers might argue that Dumbledore is simply referring to the ability of wizards to remain in the world as ghosts, but the pair do not appear as spirits in later books. If it was believed that Nicolas and Perenelle would cease to exist after death, assuming they did not choose to become ghosts, then it would not make sense for Dumbledore to refer to this state as an “adventure”. Death, according to this quote, could only yield excitement and exploration if the deceased soul travels to an unearthly realm, or “goes on” as Nearly Headless Nick explains many do. When Harry asks how Nick came back from the dead, he explains that “wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the earth, to walk palely where their living selves once trod”. He explains that instead of this path, most wizards choose to “go on”. Though it is not revealed where these wizards “go on” to, Nick explains that they cannot come back and that the ghosts who stay behind are neither “here nor there”, settling instead for a “feeble imitation of life”.xviii Being “here nor there” may refer to the notion that some souls may remain on Earth in a state of rest, or an imitation of life, until Judgement Day.
More evidence of an afterlife is apparent by reading Harry’s parents, James and Lily Potter, as believers. Much like Dumbledore, James and Lily chose to “go on” rather than remain behind as ghosts. In an interview at the 2004 Edinburgh Book Festival, Rowling responded to a question about why Lily and James did not appear as spirits to advise Harry as he grew up. By referencing Nick’s previous statements about death and moving on, she explained that some people choose not to stay behind because they are unafraid, or at least less afraid, of death.xix When Harry visits Godric’s Hollow in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he discovers that his parents’ shared tombstone is engraved with the quote “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death”.xx This quote actually comes from the Bible, 1 Corinthians 15:26, and it serves as a promise of God’s resurrection of the dead to eternal life. Hermione must know the origin of the quote, as she explains to Harry that it refers to “living after death”.xxi In the movie adaptation, James and Lily’s religious beliefs are directly addressed, albeit speculatively after their deaths. Harry hears a congregation singing in a church near the graveyard and asks “do you think they’d be in there Hermione, my Mom and Dad?” Hermione replies, “yeah, I think they would”.xxii James and Lily’s bravery in the face of death, combined with their choice of including a biblical quote on their tombstone, provides compelling evidence that they believed in a Christian Heaven, thereby supporting the theory that such an afterlife exists within the wider wizarding world.
The last book in Rowling’s series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, features a near-death experience that mimics many stories told by Christians throughout history. During the final battle between good and evil, Harry faces Lord Voldemort and bravely takes the full force of a killing curse. After being hit by the spell, he awakens to a bright mist that forms into King’s Cross, the train station where he departs for Hogwarts at the beginning of each school year. Here, Harry meets Albus Dumbledore, who had been dead for months. Harry asks if meeting Dumbledore means he is also dead, but Dumbledore explains that the killing curse only destroyed the portion of Voldemort’s soul that was sealed within Harry. Later in the conversation, Dumbledore tells Harry that he has a choice to return to Earth or to board the train in the station and “go on”, though he is not told exactly what this means.xxiii Harry’s visit with Dumbledore is similar to many stories told by Christians after they have had near-death experiences. One of the most famous of these stories is told by Colton Burpo, who ironically shares the nickname “the boy who lived” with Harry. Burpo underwent emergency surgery for appendicitis when he was three years old and died on the operating table, but was revived by paramedics. His father eventually wrote a book called Heaven Is for Real which detailed Colton’s visit to Heaven and his encounters with a great-grandfather and miscarried sister, both who died long before his birth.xxiv There are many other examples, such as Brian Miller, who was unconscious for forty-five minutes after a heart attack, and Crystal McVea, who died for nine minutes from pancreatitis, and who both recalled visiting Heaven and being sent back to Earth to be with their families.xxv Like Harry, McVea was given the option to “go on” or return to Earth. Similar to Burpo and Miller, Harry was awakened to astounding brightness by someone he knew in life. These similarities, along with the fact that Dumbledore gave Harry the option to “go on”, presumably into the afterlife, make for a convincing argument that Harry actually visited Heaven after he was struck with the killing curse.
In the Harry Potter series, the human soul is seen as something separate from the physical body, much like how it is viewed in Christianity. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermione explains to Ron that even if she killed his body his soul would survive. She emphasizes her point by saying that she could stab him with a sword and his soul would not sustain any damage.xxvi During his journey across Israel, Jesus warned his disciples that they would be hated for following him, but they should “not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell”.xxvii Like Hermione did to Ron, Jesus explained to his disciple that while humans could kill their bodies, they could not do any damage to their souls, although Jesus goes a step farther to warn that the soul could be corrupted by dark influences.
Christians believe that Satan can tempt humans to commit sin and damage their souls, effectively corrupting their relationship with God. Similarly, it is possible in the Harry Potter universe to mutilate the soul so irreparably that it can be split apart and sealed inside physical objects. Though sealing away pieces of the soul prevents one from dying, unless the separate portion is destroyed, the only way to do this is by committing what many consider to be the most extreme act of evil, murder.xxviii Murder is such a severe crime that God forbade his followers from slaying others in the original Ten Commandments to his chosen people. While most Christians believe that any sin is forgivable, the Ten Commandments are viewed as the cornerstone of their beliefs so breaking one could render the soul irreparable as it does in Harry Potter.xxix Though many religions have theories on the human soul, there is an obvious connection between how souls work in Harry Potter and how God created them to function in the Bible.
Along with delivering commandments to his followers, God also gave religious adherents visions of future events, known as prophecies, in the Bible. Prophecies also exist in the Harry Potter books, but the source of them is more ambiguous. Hogwarts has an entire course dedicated to it, particularly deciphering tea leaves and tarot cards, in order to predict the future. The professor of Divination, Sybill Trelawney, is understood by most of her students and fellow instructors to be a fraud. However, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore explains that he hired her because she correctly predicted the future when she prophesied that Harry would one day have the power to defeat the Dark Lord. When Sybill delivered the prophecy, her false mystic voice was replaced by a harsh tone and she seemed to enter a trance as though overtaken by some power which spoke through her. After the prophecy was finished, Sybill returned to herself with no memory of what occurred.xxxThough Sybill’s prophecy is the only one heard by Harry in full, he discovered earlier in the book that there was a hall of glass orbs in the Department of Mysteries, containing similar revelations from the beginning of time.xxxi The Christian Bible is filled with ministries delivered by prophets who received the word of God through visions or direct communication, from Samuel, the first prophet of Israel, to Isaiah, who ministered for over forty years of Judah’s downfall and eventual redemption by Jesus Christ, there are numerous examples of believers who spread the message of events to come.xxxii A feasible explanation for why Sybill, whose outlandish proclamations were blatantly falsified her entire career, was suddenly able to recite an accurate prediction with no recollection of doing so, is that God spoke through her to deliver the prophecy to Dumbledore.
Similarly, prophetic dreams appear in both the Bible and Harry Potter and act as warnings of what is to come. During his stay in Hogwarts, Harry is often awoken by dreams which allow him to see what Voldemort is plotting at that moment in time. These dreams serve to alert Harry when the Dark Lord is nearby, and they eventually recur so frequently that Snape attempts to teach Harry how to block them from his mind. In a parallel way, God has communicated with his followers through dreams to give them glimpses of their futures. In the Old Testament, Joseph foresaw his rise to power in Egypt while he slept and was given the ability to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams about an impending famine. Also in the New Testament, God revealed to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus in a dream.xxxiii Though Harry’s prophetic dreams were explained by Voldemort’s connection to his soul, this is only a theory offered to explain a phenomenon never experienced by any other wizard. The similarity of Harry’s visions to examples of prophetic dreams in the Bible, as well as the mysterious circumstances of Sybill’s first accurate divination, validate the possibility that God exists in the series and communicates with the characters.
Some Christians who argue that Harry Potter promotes witchcraft assert that there is no such thing as good magic, because sorcery is derived from Satan. Biblical stories have proven that this belief is untrue. Magic can, in fact, be manipulated by those whom God chooses, so long as they give the glory to Him. One popular biblical tale featuring such powers involves Moses leading the Israelites to the Promised Land. Though God had provided escape from Egypt’s army and food that sprouted overnight, the Israelites continued to doubt him and cry for water. The congregation questioned God and even Moses asked why He condemned them to die. God responded by telling Moses to speak to a rock that would yield him water, but Moses struck the rock out of anger. Though the water of Meribah flowed forth at Moses’ command, he and the Israelites were kept out of the Promised Land for their contentions and disbelief.xxxiv Jesus Christ also had the ability to perform many miracles such as walking on water, giving sight to the blind, and casting out demons. These abilities were later passed on to his disciples in order to further spread the word of God.xxxv If Christians believe that God has worked through humans in the past to perform miracles, it would be illogical of them to assume that he would never do so again.
Even though the magic users in Harry Potter refer to themselves as witches and wizards, they do not practice witchcraft as it was described in the Bible. Biblical admonitions against witchcraft forbid engaging with familiar spirits, practicing divination, and seeking power from sources other than God.xxxvi The only character in the Harry Potter novels that practices witchcraft as it is defined in the Bible is Sybill Trelawney, Hogwarts’ Divination instructor, but she is viewed as a fraud and hardly any students or teachers take seriously. Though conservative Christians argue that the magic in Harry Potter comes from Satan, there is no proof that this is true. In the Bible, sorcerers called on powers given to them by false gods and goddesses, but modern witchcraft is associated with sects as separate and diverse as Wicca, Paganism, and various tribal religions. As Christians believe there is only one true God who can give power to humans, they surmise that abilities not given by Him are from Satan, whether the person wielding these abilities realizes it or not.xxxvii It would be more reasonable to assume that God gave magic to select individuals, because magical abilities manifest in the wizards of Rowling’s stories when they are born. Whether these people would use their abilities for good, as Harry and his allies did, or for evil, as Voldemort and the Death Eaters did, would be up to them, as Christians believe God offers everyone the option to follow his commandments or live in sin.
For a long time, Christian naysayers decried Harry Potter because they assumed Rowling was faithless, but after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published she admitted that her religion influenced her writing. For years, readers pestered Rowling about whether or not Christian themes were actually present in her books or if believers were just projecting them into the story. Finally, after Harry’s fate was revealed in the seventh installment, Rowling admitted that Christianity, particularly her struggles with the faith, inspired her to write the series.xxxviii She explained her reluctance to admit her faith because to her “the religious parallels have always been obvious” and she was afraid that it would have revealed the series’ end.xxxix In response to those who assumed Rowling was a witch, she insisted that she is simply a writer of children’s fantasy who uses magic as a plot device. She also explained that her children were christened and that they regularly attended the Church of Scotland, whose leader praised her work.xl It is clear that Rowling purposely weaved religious themes throughout the story. When asked about her views on the afterlife, Rowling said that at any given moment she would answer that she does believe in life after death, yet the concept is something she struggles with.xli If Rowling depicted the specific facets of belief that she grappled with in Harry Potter, as she admitted to doing earlier, it makes sense that she would include a Christian version of the afterlife within her story. Her shaky acceptance of such an afterlife also explains why she left the destination of departed souls vague, so that readers wrestling with similar issues could discover that they are not alone in their struggles.
From the time Joanne Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone under the pen name J. K. Rowling in 1997 until the release of her newest work, the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in November 2018, the series has been under intense scrutiny. Despite Rowling’s admission that Christianity inspired her writing, critics continue to attack the Harry Potter series and its prequels without remorse. Even in light of the evidence against their claims, Christian detractors either fail to see the religious themes of the books or acknowledge them as minor details in a narrative which depicts the witchcraft in a positive light.
Armstrong, Ari. “Religion in Harry Potter: Do J.K. Rowling’s Novels Promote Religion or Undermine It?” Skeptic 17, no. 1 (July 13, 2011): 51-53. https://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/11-07-13/.
Black, Dawn. “What Is Witchcraft?” Witchipedia. Last modified April 20, 2016. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.witchipedia.com/faq:what-is-witchcraft.
Burpo, Todd, and Lynn Vincent. Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. N.p.: Nelson, 2010.
DeMitchell, Todd A., and John J. Carney. “Harry Potter and the Public School Library”. Delta Kapan 87, no. 2 (October 1, 2005): 159-65. http://ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/login? url=https://search-proquest-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/docview/218481774...
Garrett, Greg. One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter. N.p.: Baylor University Press, 2010.
Got Questions Ministries. “Does God Forgive Big Sins? Will God Forgive a Murderer?” Got Questions? Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.gotquestions.org/God-forgive-big-sins.html.
Grady, Constance, and Aja Romano. “How Harry Potter Changed the World”. Vox. Last modified June 26, 2017. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.vox.com/culture/2017/6/26/15856668/harry-potter-20th-annivers...
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One. Directed by David Yates. Screenplay by Steve Kloves. Warner Bros., 2010.
“J. K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Sunday, August 15, 2004”. Accio Quote! Last modified August 2004. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2004/0804-ebf.html.
Killinger, John. God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister’s Defense of the Beloved Novels. N.p.: Thomas Dunne Books, 2002.
Killinger, John. The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Harry Potter. N.p.: Mercer University Press, 2009.
LaFond, Linda. “What’s the Harm in Harry Potter?” CBN. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www1.cbn.com/onlinediscipleship/whats-the-harm-in-harry-potter.
Life Site News. “Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels- Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online”. Life Site. Last modified July 13, 2005. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-opposes-harry-potter-novels-signed....
Neal, Connie. The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World’s Greatest Seeker. N.p.: WJK, 2008.
New King James Bible. Giant Print ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2006.
Petre, Jonathan. “J. K. Rowling: ‘Christianity Inspired Harry Potter’”. The Telegraph. Last modified October 20, 2007. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/fictionreviews/3668658/J-K-Rowl...
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. N.p.: Scholastic, 2007.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. N.p.: Scholastic, 2005.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. N.p.: Scholastic, 2003.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. N.p.: Scholastic, 1997.
Scribner, Herb. “5 People Who Say They’ve Been to Heaven”. Deseret News. Last modified January 20, 2015. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865619980/5-people-who-say-theyve-bee...
Smith, Dinitia. “The Times Plans a Children’s Best-Seller List”. The New York Times. Last modified June 24, 2000. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/24/books/the-times-plans-a-children-s-bes...
United Church of God. “Satan’s Work in Our World”. Beyond Today. Last modified February 7, 2011. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-there-really-a-devil/sa....
“Witch; Witchcraft”. Bible Study Tools. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/witch-witchcraft/.
i Grady and Romano, “How Harry Potter Changed the World”.
ii DeMitchell and Carney, “Harry Potter and the Public School Library”, 162-164.
iii Killinger, John. God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister’s Defense of the Beloved Novels.
iv Grady, Constance, and Aja Romano, "How Harry Potter Changed the World."
vi Dinitia Smith "The Times Plans a Children’s Best-Seller List.”
vii Grady, Constance, and Aja Romano, "How Harry Potter Changed the World."
viii Linda LaFond, "What’s the Harm in Harry Potter?"
ix New King James Bible, Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
x United Church of God, "Satan’s Work in Our World."
xi Life Site News, "Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels- Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online."
xii Ari Armstrong, "Religion in Harry Potter: Do J.K. Rowling’s Novels Promote Religion or Undermine It?"
xiii John Killinger, The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Harry Potter, 5-7.
xiv Connie Neal, The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World’s Greatest Seeker, viii-ix.
xv John Killinger, God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister’s Defense of the Beloved Novels, 129-130.
xvi New King James Bible, 1 Samuel 28:14-15.
xvii Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, 297.
xviii J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 861.
xix "J. K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Sunday, August 15, 2004."
xx J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 328.
xxii Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One.
xxiii J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 705-723
xxiv Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back.
xxv Herb Scribner, “5 People Who Say They’ve Been to Heaven."
xxvi J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 104.
xxvii New King James Bible, Matthew 10:5-28.
xxviii J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 497-498.
xxix Got Questions Ministries, "Does God Forgive Big Sins? Will God Forgive a Murderer?"
xxx J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 840-841.
xxxi Ibid., 778
xxxii New King James Bible.
xxxiii Connie Neal, The Gospel According to Harry Potter: The Spiritual Journey of the World’s Greatest Seeker, 117-118.
xxxiv New King James Bible, Exodus 7:9-24.
xxxv New King James Bible.
xxxvi “Witch; Witchcraft.”
xxxvii Dawn Black, “What Is Witchcraft?”
xxxviii Jonathan Petre, "J. K. Rowling: ‘Christianity Inspired Harry Potter.’”
xl Greg Garrett, One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter, 94-95.
xli Jonathan Petre, "J. K. Rowling: ‘Christianity Inspired Harry Potter.’”