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The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter

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THE LORD OF THE HALLOWS examines the Christian themes present in J. K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER, and compares Rowling's series with THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C. S. Lewis. This book also gives a fascinating explanation of the sources of Harry Potter's subtle religious symbolism, which includes a study of iconography derived from THE LORD OF THE HALLOWS examines the Christian themes present in J. K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER, and compares Rowling's series with THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C. S. Lewis. This book also gives a fascinating explanation of the sources of Harry Potter's subtle religious symbolism, which includes a study of iconography derived from the Bible, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, Ancient and Medieval bestiaries, Christian artwork, and the Arthurian quest for the Hallows of the Holy Grail. Please visit the author's webpage at www.outskirtspress.com/thelordoftheha... for more information.


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THE LORD OF THE HALLOWS examines the Christian themes present in J. K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER, and compares Rowling's series with THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C. S. Lewis. This book also gives a fascinating explanation of the sources of Harry Potter's subtle religious symbolism, which includes a study of iconography derived from THE LORD OF THE HALLOWS examines the Christian themes present in J. K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER, and compares Rowling's series with THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C. S. Lewis. This book also gives a fascinating explanation of the sources of Harry Potter's subtle religious symbolism, which includes a study of iconography derived from the Bible, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, Ancient and Medieval bestiaries, Christian artwork, and the Arthurian quest for the Hallows of the Holy Grail. Please visit the author's webpage at www.outskirtspress.com/thelordoftheha... for more information.

30 review for The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam Ross

    This little book proved to be a wonderful introduction to some of the Christian themes and symbols in the Potter novels. There is a danger in being friends with John Granger, and that is in assuming that all the symbolism in the Potter books have already been discovered, and one of my chief criteria for a book examining the Harry Potter series is that it add something new to our collective knowledge of them. This book met and surpassed that criteria. If you've read Granger, there will be some ov This little book proved to be a wonderful introduction to some of the Christian themes and symbols in the Potter novels. There is a danger in being friends with John Granger, and that is in assuming that all the symbolism in the Potter books have already been discovered, and one of my chief criteria for a book examining the Harry Potter series is that it add something new to our collective knowledge of them. This book met and surpassed that criteria. If you've read Granger, there will be some overlap, but not a whole lot and there is a lot of great stuff here that hadn't even occurred to me. I thought I knew most of what there was to know about name origins, but Roper's explanation of Dumbledore's name (for instance) was simply fantastic. Her use of Medieval bestiaries and tapestries, not to mention her interpretation of Horcruxes and Rowling's clear use of Arthurian legend, just made the book that much better. There were only two flaws to the book. The first flaw was that as you read and come to a brilliant insight, a hundred more examples of what she is talking about spring into your mind. For instance, in the chapter on the belief in God in Harry Potter, she makes a valid point, but I would have wanted mention of other instances, such as all the instances of characters, specifically Harry, praying. And there is a fantastic moment in HBP (p. 271) when young Voldemort is mock praying, only he is worshiping himself. The only other flaw is that the book is only 109 pages, and that I didn't want it to end that soon.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    I was particularly happy to win The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter by Denise Roper from Goodreads as it was a book that combined two of my favorite interests: Harry Potter and, well, Christian symbolism. I was fascinated by the symbolism in the series and was curious to see how much of it I had understood or if, perhaps, I was reading more into the series than was there. From my understanding of this book, everything I saw was in fact there as w I was particularly happy to win The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter by Denise Roper from Goodreads as it was a book that combined two of my favorite interests: Harry Potter and, well, Christian symbolism. I was fascinated by the symbolism in the series and was curious to see how much of it I had understood or if, perhaps, I was reading more into the series than was there. From my understanding of this book, everything I saw was in fact there as well as much, much more. I had not realized the extent of the influence that The Chronicles of Narnia series as well as The Lord of the Rings had on J. K. Rowling and how very conscious she was of the symbolism she used. The wordplay and multiple meanings of names and places in the Harry Potter series is extensive, fun, and fascinating. Roper writes clearly and her explanations are lucid and convincing. My only complaint with this book is that I wish it had been twice as long. I loved it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was a short analysis about how Christian themes are present in Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings. The author wound the three books and biblical quotes and information into a cohesive book that allowed the comparisons to be seen clearly and a lot of "a-ha" moments. The book discussed symbolism in the forms of animals and other items from the books and explained them in a way that was easily understandable to a person who had read the Harry Potter books. I enjoyed This was a short analysis about how Christian themes are present in Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings. The author wound the three books and biblical quotes and information into a cohesive book that allowed the comparisons to be seen clearly and a lot of "a-ha" moments. The book discussed symbolism in the forms of animals and other items from the books and explained them in a way that was easily understandable to a person who had read the Harry Potter books. I enjoyed the conversational style of this book and it really made me think. In various sections it talked about different characters serving as symbols for a variety of Christian ideas which was a little confusing. However it all came together as each chapter included a paragraph that struck home the main idea of the chapter. This book was also interesting to me because I have dealt with parents of children who belong to certain Christian churches that felt that Harry Potter books were evil because they were about witches, wizards, and magic. This book certainly would enlighten some of those parents. This book was a Goodreads giveaway and I recived not only a signed copy from the author but a lovely letter. If anyone is interested in reading this book, let me know as I have the information on how to order a copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rob Hermanowski

    This short book is by fellow Goodreads member (and author) Denise Roper. She has produced an extremely well-researched scholarly work that will appeal equally to fans of epic fantasy and those interested in modern religious literary studies. I enjoyed the book very much, and found her arguments compelling. Denise frequently speaks at Fantasy/SciFi gatherings - I hope to have the opportunity to hear her speak in person one day!

  5. 4 out of 5

    August A.

    Great book! The author examined the Christian themes present in Rowling's Harry Potter and comapres her series with Tolkien's "Rings" and Lewis' "Narnia" series. The book gives a fascinating explanation of the sources of Harry Potter's subtle religious symbolism, which includes a study of the iconography derived from the Bible, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, Ancient and Medieval bestiaries, Christian artwork, and the Arthurian quest for the Hallows of the Holy Grail. Great book! The author examined the Christian themes present in Rowling's Harry Potter and comapres her series with Tolkien's "Rings" and Lewis' "Narnia" series. The book gives a fascinating explanation of the sources of Harry Potter's subtle religious symbolism, which includes a study of the iconography derived from the Bible, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, Ancient and Medieval bestiaries, Christian artwork, and the Arthurian quest for the Hallows of the Holy Grail.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J.W. Braun

    This is a fun little book that fans of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings who are looking for a deeper understanding of religious symbolism in the books will enjoy. Roper is a talented writer that obviously double checks all her facts, and she writes her literary criticism in a very professional and scholarly way. I'm glad to have a copy and enjoyed every page. This is a fun little book that fans of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings who are looking for a deeper understanding of religious symbolism in the books will enjoy. Roper is a talented writer that obviously double checks all her facts, and she writes her literary criticism in a very professional and scholarly way. I'm glad to have a copy and enjoyed every page.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Super interesting. Used it as a source for my research paper, but couldn't put it down while I was reading it! Super interesting. Used it as a source for my research paper, but couldn't put it down while I was reading it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lotzastitches

    I liked how it tied all three of these series together: Lord of the Rings, Narnia Chronicles, and Harry Potter. Some quotes from last night's reading: "...it is not for us to choose the times into which we are born, but to do what we could to repair them; but the spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and so many-headed in it's incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally refuse to worship any of the hydras' heads..." p. 98 (This is a quote from a letter of Tolk I liked how it tied all three of these series together: Lord of the Rings, Narnia Chronicles, and Harry Potter. Some quotes from last night's reading: "...it is not for us to choose the times into which we are born, but to do what we could to repair them; but the spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and so many-headed in it's incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally refuse to worship any of the hydras' heads..." p. 98 (This is a quote from a letter of Tolkien's) "The Dark Arts," said Snape, "are many, varied, ever-changing, and eternal. Fighting them is like fighting a many-headed monster which each time a neck is severed, sprouts a head even fiercer and cleverer than before. You are fighting that which is unfixing, mutating, and indestructible." p. 99 It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated. p. 99 Evil only understands power, as when Voldemort proclaims, "There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those to weak to seek it." Evil understands power, but not weakness; pride, but not humility; selfishness, but not selflessness. ..... In summary, the hero does not defeat evil, but he helps it to defeat itself. p. 100

  9. 4 out of 5

    M.G. Bianco

    This book was pretty good, I appreciated the Christian defense of Harry Potter. And, it made me want to re-read the books. Denise does stretch in some places though.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    What is responsible for the huge popularity of the Harry Potter books, and the blockbuster movies based on them? Denise Roper believes she knows. In the first paragraph of The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (2009 Outskirts Press), Roper makes a bold declaration: J. K. Rowling is a Christian fantasy novelist following in the tradition of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. She says that the success of the Harry Potter series “can be found in their h What is responsible for the huge popularity of the Harry Potter books, and the blockbuster movies based on them? Denise Roper believes she knows. In the first paragraph of The Lord of the Hallows: Christian Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (2009 Outskirts Press), Roper makes a bold declaration: J. K. Rowling is a Christian fantasy novelist following in the tradition of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. She says that the success of the Harry Potter series “can be found in their hidden meaning,” and that the “Christian symbolism and imagery” Rowling used is the “key to unlocking the secrets” of the books. While it true that Lewis and Tolkien hid Christian themes (Tolkien hides them more thoroughly.) in their works, Roper does not explain why this is a reason the three authors were successful. While it could be argued (although she never does) that the revelation of these themes to the general public has sparked interest within the Christian community, their popularity springs primarily (I think.) from their writing skill and ability to drawn the readers into their worlds. Be that as it may, Denise Roper has put together a book that should delight Rowling devotés with its insights. Throughout the book she gives examples of how Rowling borrowed from Tolkien—from Middle-earth names to plot devices. If you weren’t aware of Tolkien’s influence on Harry Potter’s world before, you will be by the end of the book. Those who know much of Harry Potter at all will recognize the general Christian themes such as life after death and self-sacrifice, but Roper goes on to show how Christian symbolism—especially from the Middle Ages—directs Rowling’s even the choices of animals used in the tales. The books are indeed replete with traditional Catholic symbolism. Unfortunately, many who still view Roman Catholicism as the “Great Whore” in the Bible’s book of Revelation will probably see this as more evidence that the books are somehow teaching occult practices. While I am not Roman Catholic myself, I appreciate what that Church has done through the years to help people visualize abstract ideas. Jesus himself used parables using vivid word-pictures describing everyday objects, events, and ideas the Jewish people were intimately acquainted with in the first century. It was only appropriate that as Christianity spread through the pagan world that Christian leaders would use symbolism with which they were familiar. (Even the Apostle Paul quoted pagan poets.) One example used in the books is the phoenix, a bird from ancient mythology that rose from its own ashes. The phoenix was used in Christianity as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. It is used in Harry Potter as a bird who, “like Christ, could take the curse of death upon himself and rise again in glory.” (p. 41) One whole chapter is devoted to describing how Harry Potter himself is a Christ-figure, much as Frodo was in The Lord of the Rings. In a similar way to Christ, Harry was able to defeat evil in the end. In his essay, “Sometimes Fairy Stories Can Say Best What’s to Be Said,” C. S. Lewis wrote about using imaginary worlds to bring home the message of Christ to society today. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to….But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could. (quoted by Roper, p. 2) The Lord of the Hallows concludes (pp. 103-04) that Rowling did what Lewis and Tolkien did: “smuggled the Gospel past the watchful dragons of our time in the form of a Christian story disguised as a fantasy adventure.” Roper then gives us some advice contained in the Hogwarts School motto: “‘Draco Dormiens Numquam Titillandus’: Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.” Which begs the question: Has her book, by its existence, violated that motto?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    The Lord of the Hallows is subtitled "Christain Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter". Yet the book itself seems to be a mish-mash of different things. Although there are many interesting points about the influences of Christianity on the story a large majority of the book is taken up with the simliarities between Rowling's Harry Potter and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings/ An astute reader will guess this from the title and cover art but the given premise of this book is somewhat The Lord of the Hallows is subtitled "Christain Symbolism and Themes in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter". Yet the book itself seems to be a mish-mash of different things. Although there are many interesting points about the influences of Christianity on the story a large majority of the book is taken up with the simliarities between Rowling's Harry Potter and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings/ An astute reader will guess this from the title and cover art but the given premise of this book is somewhat misleading. While the parrallels drawn are intriguing there are many instances were the author seems to be straining. She cites every possible utterance of "God" as proof positive that the wizards of Rowling's world believe in a higher power. I find it more likely that Rowling was simply trying to make them appear as life-like as possible to the mordern reader who is suppose to question whether or not Wizards exist in their world. The primary flaw of this book is the formatting. While passing off as a book this is actually a collection of short essays formatted in MLA style. MLA is inappropiate for this medium and it is distracting to find mistakes in the MLA format itself. Many typos also distract the reader. The closing line of chapter ten looses its effect as the reader stumbles over a major typo. The author also seems to fall into first person at random times to cite the fact that she correctly guessed Rowlings' plot developements. On the whole, this book has some interesting points and information although it strays into many seemingly unrelated items. The author will hopefully address some of the formatting/grammar issues.

  12. 5 out of 5

    George

    Good book. Made lots of connections between Rowling's work & Tolkien's work. Some good theories. Have some doubts on some of them since Rowling was so adamant about not being influenced by Tolkien. Good book. Made lots of connections between Rowling's work & Tolkien's work. Some good theories. Have some doubts on some of them since Rowling was so adamant about not being influenced by Tolkien.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ruqaiya

    Intresting book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel lee hemingway-clegg

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  17. 4 out of 5

    robin thomas

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fatie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adison Griffin

  21. 4 out of 5

    SASKIA

  22. 5 out of 5

    Darkdawn

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chinglemba Haobijam

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nellie Hatcher

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lilah

  26. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shananaaee Lawrys

  28. 4 out of 5

    Clara Stevenson

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tonya Hebel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Drew.menster

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