John Granger is an Orthodox author whose books, The Hidden Key to Harry Potter and Looking for God in Harry Potter, explore the Christian themes throughout the series of Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling. He has also moderated discussion groups about Harry Potter at Barnes & Noble University, and spoken on CNN as to the controversey surrounding the Harry Potter books.
John Granger is a man of many talents. He holds honors degrees in Classical Languages from Phillips Exeter and the University of Chicago. He is an ex-marine, and has spent time living in Japan. He is the father of seven children, and lives with his family in Washington. He is an ordained Reader in the Orthodox Church.
Harry Potter - A Christian Series?
The "Harry Potter" series has caused a firestorm of controversy, especially amongst many Christian groups, because of the existence and use of magic in the series. Mr Granger contends that many of the messages that are central to Harry Potter are very Christian in nature, such as love is stronger than death, our choices are central in determining who we are, and that we must choose to do what is right rather than what is easy. In his books, he points out a lot of Christian symbolism that is used throughout the series, be it through mythical creatures, names, or situations. He also argues that because all the magic of the books is incantational, rather than invocational, the magic is more of a tool that exists in the world J. K. Rowling created in her novels, rather than a ploy to encourage people, especially children, to turn to real witchcraft, which is invocational in that it calls up spirits and demons which cannot be controlled.
With his background in classics, he exemplifies how the Harry Potter series fits in to the English literary tradition of "instructing while delighting". Furthermore, he demonstrates how the Harry Potter series is a good example of literary alchemy, which, like the process of becoming Christian, takes materials which are base and turns them into something precious.
His next book will be called Harry Meets Hamlet and Scrooge: The Serious Reader's Guide to Harry Potter.
- Granger, John. The Hidden Key to Harry Potter, Zossima Press, 2002. (ISBN 0972322108)
- Granger, John. Looking for God in Harry Potter, Tyndale House Publishers, 2004. (ISBN 1414300913)