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Jesus Potter Harry Christ

4.2 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Controversial, and full of fascinating, insufficiently disseminated information." --Heresy Corner

"Riveting and extremely enjoyable." --IndieReader.com

"I am not paying false flattery when I say that this book is easily one of the best that I have read on the subject of the historical Jesus." --Pastor Chris, Pacific Haven Liberation Ministries

"Any biblical scholar, historian and want-to-be theologian can have fun looking into this text." --S. A. Gorden - Midwest Book Reviews

"Particularly absorbing and highly topical: as part of the continuing debate over the nature of Christ, not only among Christians but between them and today's wave of atheist thinkers, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is timely." --Parmenides

From the Back Cover

What do Jesus and Harry Potter have in common? More than you think.

LET'S SKIP THE INTRODUCTIONS. You don't need me to tell you that Jesus Christ and Harry are two of the most famous celebrities in the world, whose stories have been translated into dozens of languages and found international support in diverse cultures. What you may not be aware of, however, is the mysterious, complicated and intriguing relationship between them. For example, did you know that the topics "I read Harry Potter and Jesus still loves me," "Even Jesus reads Harry Potter" and "Harry Potter will return sooner than Jesus" each have their own Facebook group, or that Wikipedia has a page dedicated to "Religious debates over the Harry Potter Series"? Much more remarkable than their respective popularity is the significant tension - and unexpected affinity - between them.

At first glance it may seem that J.K. Rowling's boy wizard and the crucified Jesus prophet who became the Christian savior have absolutely nothing to do with each other - and yet the unease and sometimes outright animosity between the followers of these two figures suggests otherwise. Harry has been banned, burned, and abused by religious fundamentalists for over a decade. At the release of Rowling's final book, however, many readers were surprised to discover parallels between Jesus and Harry that, in such apparently diverse world-views, had no right to be there. As a result, recent years have witnessed a revolution in Christian responses to Harry, with many groups, writers and religious leaders praising Rowling's young sorcerer as ultimately Christian and a clear metaphor for Jesus Christ. And yet the most spine-tingling question has so far been ignored: Why do these similarities exist at all? 

Although it is easy to accept that Rowling crafted the literary character of Harry Potter after the figure of Jesus, shouldn't it pique our interest that Jesus - a monumental figure in modern world religion generally believed to have been historical - has so much in common with the obviously fictional fantasy world and character of Harry Potter? The main distinction, it will be argued, is that Jesus Christ is real: Jesus has traditionally been viewed as a historical figure, while Harry is instantly recognized as fiction. But does this distinction apply to the many seemingly mythical elements in the gospels? Can Jesus' miracles be separated from Harry's magic tricks because they really happened - or will we allow that certain features of the gospels were exaggerated or intended to be literary. And if so, where do we stop? What protects Jesus from the claim that he is, like Harry, a fictional character?

This is the starting point of Jesus Potter Harry Christ; an innovative treatise into religious history, comparative mythology, astrological symbolism and contemporary culture. From ancient mystery religions to modern fairy tales, from fictional Hogwarts to the ruins of Jerusalem, Derek Murphy, PhD in Comparative Literature at one of the world's top universities, zooms in on one crucial question: How do we separate the obviously mythical literature of Jesus Christ from the historical man himself? --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Holy Blasphemy (November 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984655107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984655106
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,339,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading Murphy's book but before writing this review, I wanted to check out Holy Blasphemy Press. I accept atheism as a valid philosophy for anyone making an intelligent decision and I wrote about this in my own work, rejecting the old, dictator god that many of us grew up with and replacing that image with a kindler, gentler, forgiving energy that accepts and loves all. Writing about spirituality, though, makes me curious about those who claim to be atheists.

I read the description of Holy Blasphemy Press, and find that I agree with much of what they said. I, too, want a better God than the "tyrannical and violent" one often portrayed. I agree with their statement, "...we also respect each individual's right to seek their own spiritual meaning - as long as they don't impose it on everyone else or demand special privileges or policies." I checked out the author, Derek Murphy, too. He seems to be an open, philosophical individual with whom one might have a rational, intelligent spiritual conversation. With that understanding, I could continue my review.

The research in this book is very impressive. Murphy covers so much material. He spends more time promoting the facts of Jesus as a literary figure than discussing Harry Potter, but he clearly makes his point of the similarities of the two figures. Both Jesus Christ and Harry Potter had miraculous births, childhood miracles, and miraculous powers; battled with evil; were sacrificed in death with a rebirth or resurrection; and dealt with the symbolism of seven, Jesus in the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation and Harry with his seven magical tasks in Books 6 and 7.

Why the comparison to Harry Potter?
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Format: Paperback
Was Harry Potter molded in the form of Jesus Christ? This book touches on the similarities between Jesus and Harry, but only as a surface introduction and running theme floating above a much deeper topic. The meat of the book is in its serious research into Jesus as a nonhistoric figure, a developed myth. Like our favorite little wizard.

This idea of a nonhistorical Jesus greatly disturbs most Christians. Murphy takes a stab at explaining our unease: "If Jesus was not historical, he would have been no different from other myths and fables ... he would be meaningless, and it is impossible for him to be meaningless, because he is meaningful to me. Therefore he is historical." He's right, the idea of Christ as a myth is more than a bit disconcerting; it hits at the very heart of many of us.

Yet Murphy's intent is not to demote Jesus to the role of an ordinary fictional being, or even an ordinary god. Jesus was never meant to be the same as other contemporary figures of mythology; to his storytellers, he was the epitome of such. "Jesus would be something entirely new simply by virtue of his being an assimilation of the best features of each. Jesus is the culmination and combination of all other religious traditions of his time."

Murphy sifts through various mystery religions and myths of a dying and resurrecting god, and their possible influence upon the Gospel story. For once, it's done tastefully and without sensationalism. Maybe you've read works by Freke, Dougherty, and Harpur. While I don't want to take anything away from those researchers--their books are interesting in their own right--I found Murphy's tempered treatment much more to my taste.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Displaying Potter's biography as reminiscent of Jesus' is the bait that catches the reader. Murphy then asks a most serious question: "Is the Jesus story just as fictional as Potter's and based on previous myths? After having argued against the dictated historical Jesus and that Jesus is not beyond the scope of rational inquiry, Derek Murphy shows how non-specific Jesus really was by sharing a wonderful collection of much earlier heroes everyone accepts as imaginary, (occasionally based on a real person) and whose biography belonged to the enchanted circle of similar extraordinary deeds. The author also introduces his readers to ancient astrological symbols that explained the world and how they became a universal language used in mythical essays and found their way into ethical and spiritual teaching.

The author makes it clear that most of the Jesus Messiah claims have parallels in earlier belief systems. His arguments that struggling and established christianity incorporated pagan symbols into practice, iconography and texts is enlightening.

I feel however that Derek Murphy over-emphasises pagan influences on the original synoptic compositions.

Before being exported and presented to the world, the Jesus party was elaborated within a pious dissident Jewish sect. They did not need to refer to outside mythologies because they already had at their disposal abundant prophetic material offered by the OT (that also contains middle-eastern legends). They used it extensively, each evangelist manipulating the original gospel according to maturing religious-political needs.

Within this pious and divided community, Jesus, a messiah symbol personifying the avant-garde, was to take over from Elijah, the Temple's messianic candidate for the end of days.
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