‘Sacramental World of Harry Potter’

If you thought the ‘Christian Controversy’ was over because the Boston Globe reported that Harry is now a staple in college curricula across the country, you were wrong. The new face of the controversy is not if Harry Potter is Christian but if he is properly Christian. Frankly, this is a much more interesting conversation.

David Nilsen, a Historical Theology major at Westminster Seminary, posted a wonderfully complimentary essay on the A-Team Christian Apologetics blog (“Speak the Truth, but Do it in Love, Fool!”) about Harry Potter. In ‘The Sacramental World of Harry Potter’ he asserts that while Ms. Rowling’s Hogwarts Adventures are Christian, because they are written in a sacramental literary tradition (English fantasy), they depart from the victory Reformation theology won over medieval Catholicism in having “desacralized” the natural world.

This “victory” was the birth of modern naturalism and empiricism, alas, and the departure of (some of) the Reformers from sacramental Christianity, Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglo-Catholic. Mr. Nilsen and Dr. Clark as champions of a God who is Transcendent but not Immanent except by salvific Grace are correct, I think, in noting that their beliefs (denying the “magic” used to bless natural elements in Liturgy, baptism, etc.) make the Romantic tradition in English letters, a reaction in large part to exactly this desacralization of the world by Protestant theologians, problematic at best.

I would only offer as a point of reflection the possibility that one reason Harry’s story resonates so profoundly with readers everywhere (and of all beliefs) is that Coleridge and the Christian Platonists — Anglo-Protestants all — that founded the fantasy tradition were right and the desacralizing Reformers wrong. Harry’s story, as explained in The Deathly Hallows Lectures, is largely the story of Harry as a story-cipher or symbol for logos, the uncreated aspect of the human soul and the bridge between man and God the Logos, Whose created world is, as Lewis noted a la Barfield (and Coleridge), “mental,” i.e., essentially Logos.

Mr. Nilsen “gets” that Harry Potter is Christian in themes and message but has missed how these stories act as a powerful correction, an antidote or counter-spell if you will, to the spell of materialism and naturalism, which, again, Lewis notes, has enthralled the world since the victory of the “desacralizing” Reformers.

I covet, as always, your comments and correction. (H/T to ‘Dr. Art’ for this link.)


  1. I’m sure I’m missing something in the definitions of sacramental or not, so I really can’t comment on your post or on the one you linked. What I did notice is at the bottom of the linked one on the A-Team blog is a link to wandlore.net. Are you associated with that site? They have posted your exact post from today, and it looks like from other days as well, but without any mention that it’s from you, either by adding your name or a link to HogwartsProfessor.

    Just thought you should know if someone is using your posts without your knowledge or without giving you the credit. I don’t think that it’s enough to post it with the tag “Harry Potter news”, which they have done.


  2. WandLore.net steals everything I write, and, because they are based over seas and I don’t have the time I’d need to squeeze them on copyright issues via their server and google, I can do little about it. Please do feel free to write nasty things in their comment boxes about bare-faced theft, stealing they do without so much as a link to HogPro (The Hog’s Head is facing similar issues).

  3. David Nilsen says

    John, thanks for your interaction with my post!

    I’m curious, do you believe there to be any middle ground here, or is it simply the case that either the Reformers or the Catholics/Orthodox must be fully right and the other fully wrong? I don’t mean theologically speaking, of course, but in terms of how to view Harry Potter, as well as in terms of Naturalism/Materialism. In other words, do you really believe it to be the case that Naturalism is a necessary consequence of Reformation theology, or might it be merely an unfortunate side effect?

    Also, what did you think of my suggestion at the conclusion of my article, that a Protestant can affirm the ‘sacralizing’ nature of Harry Potter in one sense (at least in the sense of depicting a world that is more than mere matter and energy in mindless motion), without needing to accept the theological conclusions of Rome/Constantinople? (Not unlike, as I mention in my post, what I would do with the symbolism in Dracula of a communion wafer burning Mina’s forehead. I don’t need to take it literally to understand the significance of the symbolism regarding the Eucharist, and ultimately the Cross).

    Thanks again!

  4. You really are a nice guy, David. I hope I would have been as charitable as you have been in putting your responses to my brief dismissal in the form of questions. My apologies for curtly dismissing the Reformation out of hand in the sweeping way the brevity of my answer made worse than I meant it to be.

    Three notes:

    First, the Orthodox and Catholic faiths are united in sacramental theology and liturgics (if the word ‘sacraments’ is a Latinism for Mysteria that Orthodox use sparingly). The Orthodox, however, often accuse the Catholics of believing in magic rites performed juridically by their priests. An article on ‘The Sacraments’ at OrthodoxInfo.com says, for example:

    In the West, since the Scholastic period (Middle Ages) and, especially, since the Catholic Reformation (16th century), much emphasis has been placed on the vicarious juridical power of the minister to administer the sacraments validly. The Orthodox East, however, interprets each sacramental act as a prayer of the entire ecclesiastical community, led by the bishop or his representative, and also as a response of God, based upon Christ’s promise to send the Holy Spirit upon the church. These two aspects of the sacrament exclude both magic and legalism: they imply that the Holy Spirit is given to free men and call for their responses. In the mysterion of the church, the participation of men in God is effected through their “cooperation” or “synergy”; to make this participation possible once more is the goal of the incarnation.

    In this perspective of decrying ‘magical sacraments,’ then, it seems the Orthodox and the Reformers have more in common than Constantinople/Moscow/Jerusalem do with Rome. In this light, it doesn’t seem right to make an either/or distinction between those churches having sacraments and those who say they don’t. Probably better to make the divide between panentheists and deists, in whatever church you find one or the other.

    I’d say, too, that the Reformers are not all about “desacralizing” the world. The Radical Reformers we have been discussing this week — the Christian hermetic magi whom Ms. Rowling seems to have taken as the historical analogues for her ‘Seekers’ and ‘Muggles — are, obviously, focused on the magic world view. They join cause with the Magisterial Reformation in thinking of the Roman Church as the “Whore of Babylon” but they couldn’t be much different in their ideas of how salvation is won. “The Reformers” are no more a monolith than sacramental Christians are.

    Which brings us back to Harry Potter, right? Ms. Rowling is writing in the fantasy tradition born of the 19th Century Oxford Platonists who take their bearings from Coleridge, the Cambridge Platonists of the 17th Century, and an esoteric Christianity very much opposed to the “desacralizing” of the world. You don’t need to convert to another faith to acknowledge this, as you already seem to understand; it certainly makes the argument of the books harder to accept, however, if your tenet is that a sacramental world view is wrong. That view is what Ms. Rowling is pushing, what she says is the “key” to the books (assuming I’m right about how to understand the Dumbledore conversation finish at King’s Cross).

    I think of Orson Scott Card and Stephenie Meyer, two very successful Latter-day Saint writers, whose books reflect the amalgam of Radical Reformation beliefs and practices that were prevalent in New England in the early 19th Century. Knowing that most Americans don’t share their beliefs, does this mean their artistry and meaning, much of which transcends denominational focus (Mrs. Meyer says her books are about “being human”), is in some fashion taboo? No one’s books can survive a hostile reading, as Mr. Card says about the Book of Mormon.

    I understand that you’re obliged to acknowledge the difference in opinion on faith issues with the English fantasy tradition and I admire your ability to take the good of the books while noting the points of disagreement. Because none of the authors I have written about are Orthodox, I find myself in your position as often as not. (If only Dostoevsky were still pumping out novels….) I hope these three points clarify (1) that the monolithic opposition between Reformers and traditional Christians is a matter of nuance rather than broad strokes and (2) that the English fantasy tradition is opposed to the desacralizing effort of the Reformers, which, yes, I think is the drive and birth of the naturalist world-view.

    Thank you again for your charitable response to my to brief note. I hope you continue to be able to enjoy the Christian content of stories not all of which is what you believe to be true.

  5. David Nilsen says


    I don’t know if you remember, but we met once at Biola University, where I was a student (you were giving a lecture on Deathly Hallows for Torrey). Between meeting you, and also having read and thoroughly enjoyed two of your books, I had no reason not be kind! (as the A-Team’s motto says, Speak the Truth, but Do it in Love, Fool!). 🙂 I also didn’t take your post to be an uncharitable dismissal of the entire Reformation, so no worries there!

    I’m glad to hear that there is some agreement on this point. I’ve heard on many different occasions how many similarities there are between the Lutheran/Reformed and the Orthodox. Obviously there are major disagreements, but not at every turn!

    From what I understand, Dr. Clark (one of my professors) was praising the “desacralizing” of the world not because it leads to Deism, but because it affirms the inherent goodness of creation apart from special grace. From what I understand, this is also a point of agreement we have with the Orthodox, who reject the Catholic distinction between sacred and secular, right? And of course the Reformed have always believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist via the Holy Spirit, so I guessed we haven’t completely removed the “magic” from the world!

  6. If there is “inherent goodness of creation apart from special grace” then why did St Paul write that the whole creation was groaning in travail to be made anew?

    The advent of The Incarnacy (hat tip to Charles Williams) does not imply a natural goodness of the Creation unaffected by the sinfulness of man, but rather a special grace that the Creator should RECAPITULATE in His advent and thereby RE-CREATE the whole in the truly human properly related to the Creator. Sinfulness in the apex of creation, A-dam, brought down the whole and required redemption of the whole; therefore the Second A-dam (cf. St Paul throughout) whose obedience established the New Creation, surely a special grace.

    The radical reforministas who discarded sacramentalism literally threw THE Baby out with the bath water. Interestingly, the Orthodox tradition does not delineate the sacraments as seven until rather late and contend that anything in creation can be a sacramental. But this is rather a large subject and I would refer all those interested to BYZANTINE THEOLOGY by John Meyendorff and the appropriate chapter headings for these issues.

  7. John, could I ask for a point of clarification? Maybe you addressed this already in the latter part of the thread, which I was skimming while getting my daughter ready for her bath. 🙂 If so, I apologize.

    You wrote: “…an antidote or counter-spell if you will, to the spell of materialism and naturalism, which, again, Lewis notes, has enthralled the world since the victory of the “desacralizing” Reformers…”

    I think I’m missing something here. Are you saying that you feel Lewis lays the disenchantment of the world, its saturation in materialism and naturalism, primarily at the feet of the Reformers? That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    So much of the materialistic tide that engulfed the west came from so many complex factors stemming from the Enlightenment. It doesn’t seem accurate or fair to lay all the faults of materialism at the feet of the Reformers, no matter how iconoclastic or “de-sacralizing” some of them were at their worst.

    I think it’s also fair to remind that Anglicanism, from which Lewis and many of the “high fantasy writers” sprung, was itself born from the Reformation, though Anglicanism has always had a distinct shape over against the continental reformation and retained far more catholic underpinnings.

    In fact, I would almost argue that it’s not surprising so many of the high fantasy writers have been nourished in the soil of the Anglican tradition, because it combines a more catholic/sacramental world view with a more deeply Protestant conviction about the power of the word. If one can argue that some Reformers wanted to strip nature and objects of “magic” I think one could almost make an argument that they retained more of a sense of “magic” in the power of the written word (especially of course the Word proclaimed and preached). I don’t think it’s any accident that the Anglican tradition provides rich soil for fantasy writers: people who hold a sacramental view of the world but who also hold a very high view of the persuasiveness and power of the Scriptures, and by extension, the power of stories and of the written word in general. Anglicanism, interesting mixture that it can be, also left plenty of room for more esoteric strains of mysticism (witness Charles Williams).

    Just a few humble thoughts, though I quake at trying to swim in the deep end of the pool.

  8. You’re right, of course, Beth. Lewis actual quotation says nothing about “desacralizing Reformers” (he leaves it at “for a century” with no names of the criminals). My point was only that I think tracing back the “desacralizing” trend that gave us the Enlightenment and the Empiricists and the “thrall of materialism” includes those Reformers who fostered deism.

    My apologies for any slight given to the Anglican tradition, which, as you correctly note, has given us most of the Inkling writers and, correct me if I’m wrong here, five of ‘The Seven,’ Chesterton and Tolkien being the only exceptions (oops, MacDonald wasn’t Anglican, was he?).

  9. Thanks for the clarification, John. And no slight taken against the Anglican tradition (sorry if I sounded like a Mama Bear defending her cubs…I’m busy prepping to teach my Anglican history course, which may have something to do with it!).

    I’m actually not sure if MacDonald ever officially became Anglican. He was too liberal for the Congregationalists, which is why he was forced to give up his pulpit, right? And I know he was influenced by his friendship with F.D. Maurice, a rather prominent Anglican (I’m guessing the influence went both ways). I guess we could say he had at least one foot in the Anglican camp!

  10. Four of the “Seven” Inklings (as defined by the Wade Center) were Roman Catholic. Chesterton switching from Anglicanism. Barfield was an Anthroposophist. MacDonald became a “official” Anglican around 1866 (at the age of 42). Tolkien was what some humorously refer to as a “cradle convert” (as opposed to a “cradle Catholic”) because his mother was a convert when Tolkien was a child and he was baptised and raised Catholic. So, for all intents and purposes, he was a cradle Catholic.

    As a Catholic I would like to point out that Catholics do not believe the mass is either “magic” nor a matter of “legalism.” The Mass is a “participation of men” in union with God – that is, after all, the meaning of the word “liturgy” – “work of the people”. The authoritative teaching of Catholicism is easily found for anyone on the internet by Googling the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  11. I meant that four of the seven are Anglicans. Sorry about that.

  12. John,

    “One of the more important things the Reformation accomplished, which is resented by docents across Europe and Britain as well as by Anglo-Catholics and Romanists everywhere, was the de-sacralization of the world. By “sacralize” I mean to “enchant” the world, to make creation per se more than it is, to make the world sacramental and to endow it with power to communicate divinity to us….The medieval church made the world a magical place by endowing it with power, either by nature or by divine fiat. In short, the medieval church tended to an over-realized eschatology.”

    I believe that was the quote on David’s blog. I’m curious as to your thoughts on a couple of things, John.

    First, I come from a thick protestant tradition, but do not claim all of the baggage. For instance, growing up with harry potter (even in age – 12 years old when he was 12 and so forth) has shown me one thing about my generation: we are inherently sacramental. We resonate with the Psalms in ways that our elders don’t – or at least don’t care to as much as other things, which is great for them. Yet I continually notice how many of my protestant friends (less catholic than myself) will still recognize these intersections where divinity collides with depravity – shown most readily in the name of the Switchfoot album title “beautiful collision.” So, being born in the late 80’s, grants me the grace of being inherently sacramental.

    What I’m curious about, then, is not so much the seven sacraments, but the inherent sacramentality of a now-but-not-yet kingdom. The eschatology, in my estimate, of the Harry Potter series is seen most readily in wand lore where the wand picks the wizard, even though the wizard (much like David’s mention of the priests) speaks the incantation. Yet even this doesn’t get at the core of wand lore, simply because the Elder Wand and the twin cores point to some intersections that trump incantations. In other words, do incantations become more of a faithful speaking – much like the priests – syncing us up to what is already going on at the core? Do the cores have this deep sacramentality and intersection of the divine and depraved? Are they a beautiful collision?

    or more concisely:

    How is eschatology related to wand lore?

  13. Read this. (Pardon the screwy formatting in this old post! It seems to be disintegrating.) The short answer is that the wand cores are all symbols of the Christ or Word .

  14. so then, using the nomenclature of my question, you would say that wands – in general – are of that dualistic nature and that dual-core phoenix-feather wands (in our case Fawkes) – in specific – create a “beautiful collision” of priori incantatum (the former-sung spells). So we have depraved (humans) and divine (cores) creating the phoenix song?

    But I think it still doesn’t hit the specific niche of “eschatology” – for the priori incantatum has a now and before, but where is the not-yet?

  15. My brother-in-law (Pauli from Muggle Matters.com) alerted me (M[erle] Brett Kendall, aka Merlin from Muggle Matters) to this thread (passing on an email from John), and thought I might want to say something on the eschatology issue (as it is one of my focuses for my PhD comps in Biblical Studies).

    [Disclaimer: Apologies for any instances of all caps below, I know it is annoying – but I don’t know/remember how to do italics in this interface)

    I agree with Lancelot that there is, in HP, no “not yet” or “next world” that is definitive of eschatology proper, but I also think there is a point to be made, or at least clarified (and possibly related to HP) regarding the original author’s statement on the medieval Church’s “over-realized eschatology” (IE I think he notes a real difference between medieval sacramental theology’s eschatology and Protestant eschatology, the latter of which seems to me to bear more resemblance to Jewish eschatology, and I think the difference can have some intersection with Harry Potter … although I would disagree with the author on the “over” part: I believe that with Christ, the second person of the eternal Trinity, entering space and time in a concrete historical place, time and body, the eternal, which is what the eschaton is for Christianity, has impacted the present historical world in a real and concrete way, which is at the core of sacramentality as such)

    Basically, in 2nd Temple Judaism the primary example of eschatology is in the Apocalypses (major examples: 1 Enoch, 2 Baruch, 4 Ezra … the issue of how properly “eschatological” the Biblical prophets are is a debated issue, which is the specific matter of one of my comp questions). There are primarily 2 strands within the apocalypses: temporal and spatial. The temporal strand is about the not yet: the need to believe that following Torah etc will yield blessing, given such circumstances as political/religious oppression making fulfillment of promised freedom seem unattainable in the current situation (such as the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD, see below), makes it necessary to envision a “next world” in which the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished, following some cosmic upheaval and final judgment. In the spatial strand, the visionary is led by some heavenly agent on a cosmic tour. (In my experience none of the apocalypses can be fit solely into one or the other category, and thus I use the term “strands”, although often one or the other is the more dominant strand). In my understanding the spatial usually always serves the temporal (such as in 1 Enoch, Enoch is shown the places in the “earth” where the unrighteous will be put upon judgment). Thus I would say that the “next world” is the key defining characteristic for all eschatology (including Christian, but I will get to that in a moment). And I do not see a CONCRETE “next world” in HP (What is beyond the veil in the department of mysteries or what it would mean for Harry to go “on” from King’s Cross station is never really addressed, so, as far I can tell we have no image in-text to wrk with to see if it is eschatological).

    However, to my understanding, the distinction between Christian eschatology and Jewish is that in the Christian, because Christ (being the eternal second person) has entered history, the eschaton has entered history. In a sense, while the next world MUST remain a distinct world (in order to avoid something like a Marxist sort of “eschatology” in which the definitive finality is still a this world resolution of this world classes), that eschaton CAN breach our history (it did once and, in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox sacramental thought it does continually in the Eucharist, since the Christ present in the Eucharist is still the second person of the Trinity).

    So, as I understand it, in Jewish Eschatology the “next world” remains SOLELY a next world, and in Christianity we see the next world as also breaking back into this one (as it did originally in Jesus Christ) – which is similar to the thinking of multi-valence when considering Advent. (Christ came into the world in history in Bethlehem, He comes into our daily lives and lives within us now, He will come again in a unique way at the “end of time”.)

    Now, I do think there is a concept that can be seen as present in HP, particularly as we are talking about wands here, and can be viewed as analogous to the eschatological – which is transcendence. What I was just speaking about as the eschaton breaking into historical materiality COULD be called a sort of “Immanent Transcendence” (I believe this was the term coined by the Catholic Theologian Karl Rahner, but I have not really studied Rahner much, have just heard that from somebody who read a little more of him, and Rahner is generally pretty dense stuff – the joke goes that Rahner’s brother’s job was to translate Rahner into German … Rahner was German and wrote in German). While what I was saying about Jewish concept of the eschatological being strictly other worldly holds true, there are some instances in which this sort of transcendence becoming immanent can be glimpsed maybe in seed form. In 2 Baruch especially, the TRUE Temple is not either the first of the second Temple in Palestine. To preserve the idea of the uniqueness of the Temple even in the circumstances of such a drastic destruction as that by the Romans in 70 AD, the true Temple is said to be the one in the heavens with God. Those on earth are models built on that heavenly one, a model which was shown to likes of Adam, Moses, Solomon (and maybe Abraham – I’m rusty on that particular passage) … thus the Temple is never truly destroyed. It’s unclear how well the “participation” of the earthly instances with the heavenly model can be compared to the “realism” of Catholic and Orthodox sacramental theology (those concepts are dicey, as the language of “participation” is heavily drawn from and impacted by Platonist thought and there is debate on whether Plato himself was the same sort of dualist as middle-Platonism became) … but all that just to say that, while I think such “immanent transcendence” is distinctly Christian, you can see seeds in some places in Jewish apocalyptic eschatology.


    In short, what I would propose is that the “transcendent” can be construed as ANALOGOUS to the eschatological (and in the case of that which is TRULY transcendent, not just transcendence as a concept, namely God, since he is eternal, transcendence and eschatological are one), and since the wand cores could be viewed as symbols of the transcendent (being as they come from magical creatures, something beyond the mere connection of the witch or wizard with a piece of natural wood), they could be said to be analogously eschatological.

    As I said, I disagree with the original author (Dave? … or at least what it seemed to me was the original author in the way that quote was presented) on whether medieval thinking OVER eschatologized, and I think it proper in its eschatology (which is my natural disposition as a Catholic and one of the reasons I converted from Protestantism) … but, for these purposes here, that is, to the best of my understanding, what the debate is over medieval eschatologization (given my initial assumption that Protestant eschatological thinking is far more akin to Jewish than to medieval Catholic/Orthodox, and far more akin to Jewish eschatological thought than either Catholic or Orthodox thought are). … As well as how I think it could relater to the question of wands in HP (I hope I didn’t take too long of a way around and really apologize if I did)


    As far as that scene in particular in Priori Incantatem (and stepping away from the question of the wand cores), while I have thought of the shades as a having the “communion of the saints” as their image SOURCE (they are the “dearly departed” who circle round the pair, whispering encouragement to Harry and derision to Voldy – apologies to John if I picked this up from his books and am failing to cite … it has been a while since I read them – I think I came up with the communion of the saints myself, but we all know how tricky a thing memory can be), and that SOURCE, by its nature, has eschatological dimensions to it, I have never thought of them as “next worldly” either in their material nature on the page, nor their function literarily.

    Materially they seem to be a sort of “psychic residue” imbibed by the killing wand (much the same as Harry’s wand imbibed some of Voldy’s wand/magic, “which is to say, that it contained a little of Voldemort himself” [DH 711]), and thus strictly “this worldly” (psychic residue imbibed from a person living, at the time of death, only in this world, not having passed beyond the veil). As far as how they function literarily I think they represent the “dearly departed” FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THIS WORLD.

    I was put on to this from a material inconsistency noted by Red Hen – the notorious missing 14 feet (btw, I use this passage to introduce certain concepts of textual criticism in my Intro to OT course, in a handout I call “Harry Potter and the Handout of Text Criticism” … lots of fun, keeps undergrads from thinking your totally boring). I think Harry’s wand moves 14 ft because it is next to Cedric’s body, and Cedric’s body must eventually be outside of a circle of 30 or so death eaters, necessitating about 20 feet in diameter (the original 6 ft distance earlier is, I believe, due to her being making another point then, that we need to hear how coldly and quietly Voldy says “kill the spare” and because of 3rd person limited-omniscient narrative perspective – well noted thanks to John – Harry, along with his dropped wand, and thus Cedric’s body, must be only about 6 feet away, and I think she simply didn’t catch an inconsistency between the two schemes – in my thinking chronos [clock time – material detail a narrative is encased in] always breaks down under the weight of kairos [unique/special time – the inner meaning of the narrative]).

    The reason the body must be outside the circle is that he represents the “dearly departed” and the death eaters will always exclude them, put them outside their circle (they even close up ranks to exclude their own fallen or captured from their ranks). When the duelers get transplanted to a plateau, the circle of the song-cage now reverses the situation: the death eaters are trapped outside while the shades of the departed reign inside.

    But as regards the question of whether their function is eschatological, I think they remain simply shades, rather than even ghosts (the ghost, while sharing the “hereness” of the shades, maintains the personal center of the original person, whereas these shades do not), let alone an intrusion of a truly departed (moved on beyond this world, through the veil) spirit. The point is the relation the two (Harry and Voldy) have to them (in systematic theology/philosophy terms, if it is not too outlandish to apply these categories to a properly literary mode of discourse, they may be transcendental but are not transcendent as such)

  16. I like that, Merlin. Thanks so much for the thorough response.

    What disappoints me, then, is that our eschatology – namely the return of Christ – is downplayed in the books. The redemption of all Creation, that has not yet regained the inherent sacramentality we’ve laid out here, is downplayed in the books. What we get is just a glimpse of a world without prejudices, of a golden world.

    As for the New Jerusalem, we expect to have some sort of dance with the transcendent and immanent – the pure intimacy of Jesus. We will see with unveiled eyes and hearts, or as I like to say, the lap we will sit on will sit on a throne. The importance, being then, that God will be our light – and we will not need sun. God will be our bread – and we will not need food. This sort of sustenance, the wedding of the transcendent and immanent, left me wanting more in the books – a book eight – not for the sake of simply reading more (as most people are wont to say), but for the redemption of all that went wrong in 1-7.

    So, having established the prior-ness (or as you say, the “here-ness”) of the wands, I’m curious as to wands earning their place with the hallows as a part of some magical trinity that beats death. Given, wands have a piece of transcendence within immanence (unicorn hair in holly, for instance), now what of wands earning a right on the hallows?

    And I do mean “earn”, for the Elder Wand is a very powerful tool – albeit stolen and used for heinous crime. Harry could not beat death without any of the three, assuming the submission of the Elder to the other.

    Put simply – the Hallows are the link to the HP eschatology. The not-yet of the HP eschatology is realized eventually through the Hallows, for the dept. of mystery’s veil shows life after death – but NOT the there-and-back-again of Harry’s journey. So, then, wands have a spot on the hallows, hallows are the key to the eschatology, how do they play in? Or do they still not?

    All this, primarily, to get at the part wands played in the ‘table of nations’ in the great hall, and the epilogue – which is a glimpse at the should-have-been book eight.

  17. As a side note concerning the original, and opinion, I believe the Goblet of Fire to be the greatest sacrament in the books.

    It weds the divine and depraved, choice and election, fire and water (in the name), magic with muggle. Not to mention it’s practically the Holy Grail, and a symbol of sorts for the cup of the Eucharist. If we’re talking sacraments – natural or synthetic – I think the goblet takes the cup.


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