Count my wife among the many who are eagerly awaiting tonight’s release of the final film in the Harry Potter saga. With the film’s debut, one Baylor professor has found himself a little bit busier than usual. English professor Dr. Greg Garrett already wears many hats — including writer, teacher, minister and artist — but this week, Garrett has been a popular subject for writers looking for a different angle on the final chapter of The Boy Who Lived.
Garrett’s books often look for deeper meaning in pop culture, and his latest effort, One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter, is no different. In the book (published by Baylor Press), Garrett likens Harry Potter, one of the most popular series of all time, to other great fantasy novels based in Christian heritage, specifically The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. As a result, magazines and radio talk shows have been interested in hearing more.
As Potter-mania comes to a head this week, Garrett can be found everywhere from Men’s Health (“7 Lessons Every Man Can Learn from Harry Potter”) to The Huffington Post (“Saying So Long to Harry Potter”) to Patheos.com (“The End of Harry Potter: A View from Britain”). The Kansas City Star, Orlando Sentinel and BBC Radio (sorry, that one’s not online) are also among the many media outlets quoting the Baylor professor on the series’ final installment.
Though the Harry Potter books and movies have often been condemned by Christians for their use of witchcraft, Garrett sees Harry Potter as a moral tale that Christians should be willing to embrace. Author J.K. Rowling “told the media when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007 that the Bible verses quoted in that volume represented the thematic core of the entire series,” writes Garrett. “It’s a lovely final irony — in largely post-Christian Britain, the most popular export since tea has its basis in the Bible, in faith, and in the Church.”
Sic ’em, Dr. Garrett!