‘How Harry Cast His Spell’ Available Today

Sort of.

Pre-ordering for the updated and much revised Looking for God in Harry Potter is now possible at Amazon.com.

Check out that Golden Cover!

Hogwarts Professor at Convention Alley 2008

There are, believe it or not, five Harry Potter fan conferences this year, six if you include the University of Regina Humanities Research Institute one-day show that happened last week. Convention Alley 2008 (HPfGU) starts the season in Ottawa, Canada, 19-22 June, Portus 2008 (HPEF) will be in Dallas, 10-13 July, Accio 2008 in Oxford, UK, 25-27 July, Terminus 2008 (Narrate) in Chicago 7-11 August, and an as-yet-unnamed conference (Muffliato 2008?) closes out the year at Northern Illinois University 14-16 November. I couldn’t confirm dates or place for the Australian conference, Snidget 2008.

Each of these gatherings has its virtues and failings according to any individual’s tastes; only one will have the virtue (or failing) of featuring the Hogwarts Professor as a Featured Speaker. [Read more…]

On the Fidelity of Harry Potter Films to the Meaning of the Novels: A “Sola Script” Question

In case you don’t follow the Hogwarts Professor “recent comments” sidebar (it’s on your right), there has been some activity on the HogPro thread of a few months ago about Michael Gambon, the actor who plays Albus Dumbledore in the Warner Brothers movies, and his disclosure that he doesn’t read the books because he doesn’t need to in order to get the part right. I argued that his push-and-shove Dumbledore, mirabile dictu, post Deathly Hallows doesn’t seem that far off the mark after all. It may ruin how the story is supposed to work but the Deathly Hallows Machiavellian Dumby is all Gambon.

The news item that revived that lively conversation was the revelation that Julie Walters, the actress who plays Molly Weasley in the movies, is very much of the same school of thought as Mr. Gambon. She said: [Read more…]

Harry Potter Film Sets: Eye in the Sky

I confess to being clueless as to what scenes in Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hallows these sets could be for. Please share your thoughts if your speculative-gifts are crying out for exercise a year after the speculative-marathon of last May and June.

Hogwarts Professor at Yale

In late February of this year I traveled to New Haven to sit in as a guest expert of sorts in Prof. Danielle Tumminio’s “Christian Theology and Harry Potter” course (CSBR 352b). It was a Hogwarts Professor dream date, as you might imagine. Picture a neo-gothic seminar room with a diverse group of very thoughtful and well-read young adults who meet to discuss topics like sacramental theology in the context of their reading of the Harry Potter epic. And my book was part of the reading for the course.

The course description said that it was an “exploration of ways that the Harry Potter novels espouse a Christian theological worldview” with “readings from theological texts as well as the novel series.” Prof. Tumminio, [Read more…]