Orthodox Christian View of Harry Potter

Ebor

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Eric Hoffer to Abbie Hoffman... very different! ;D

I don't suppose that the ancient stories you mention were ever translated into English. I regret to say that my Latin is of a most rudimentary sort. They stopped teaching it the year before I started High School and started again after I graduated. And just how do you translate Ron Weesley into latin? :)

 

Habakkuk3

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Q. "And just how do you translate Ron Weesley into latin? "



A. Ran Visli
 

Habakkuk3

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ackshully, a famous general's phrase --

"Veni, Vidi, Visli"

has NEVER been accurately translated into Koine Greek!

(Vernacular renditions woerfully stopped short at :

.

.



"Yo! Ron! HowzitGOIN?"

.

.


but their accuracy can neither be confirmed or denied... ):'(
 

Ebor

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Thank you, Habakkuk3. :)

Any ideas on: Gilderoy Lockhart or Diagon Alley?

Ebor
 
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The approach by neo-Latinists is typically to resort to semantic-sphere-substitutes. E.g., the couple that translated the Grinch used Laeluli (the joyful ones) to translate the Whos. But I would expect Ron W. to remain as it was in the English (following medieval precedent).
Dan
 

Ebor

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Ah. Thank you for explaining that, Daniel. Are any of the ancient ghost stories available in English?

Ebor
 

Linus7

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I have not read all the posts to this topic (shame on me), but I have read all of the Harry Potter books.

I enjoyed them. I could not find anything inherently evil about them, although I am not completely comfortable with the whole witchcraft/wizardry thing.

They are entertaining, but that's about it. I think that was all they were meant to be.

There is a strong contrast between good and evil in the books which makes them suitable for kids, as long as the kids understand that HP is fantasy.

I probably like HP more now that I know the Fundies have condemned the series. If they are down on it, it must be good!

Seriously, though, they are not wrong about everything . . .

Are they?

I think they were right about something . . . once . . .

I just can't remember what it was.
 
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Dear Ebor,
I am so sorry about the ghost stories. Please email me at stporfiri@cs.com so I can remember to ferry the said books home and translate them into English--no chore at all, since they are short and easy (for me). Cheers, Daniel

Dear Linus,
As far as the wizard/witch thing is concerned, keep in mind that the ability to do magical things is strictly genetic in HP: you are born with it or not. Recall the episode in the wand-shop: you and I would wave every wand in the shop to no avail. Had magical ability been something that you and I could in the context of the story acquire, things would be very different indeed; it would be like Frodo using the Ring for power. And we all know where the Ringwraiths came from: Hogwarts rejects who destroyed themselves in their lust for power. I also think Galadriel's explanation to Sam about her "magic" is appropriate. Sam could no more acquire Elvish magic intrinsically than a rock can acquire vision.
Also, keep in mind that Rowling is using the wizarding world as a satirical mirror: silly things which we do every day seem so much funnier when wizards do them. In this sense, without being nearly as deep or convincing, HP is part of the grand English tradition instanced by Gulliver's Travels. In particular, she is spoofing English mores (e.g., the obsession with respectability, which is an obsession whose frequency in literature I never understood until I taught alongside British myself).
Cheers, Dan
 

Ebor

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The respectibility issue is present in both the "muggle" and "wizarding" families. The Dursleys want no magic in the family while the Malfoys sneer and despise any hint of muggle (referring to those not of 'pure' wizard lines as mud-bloods). Harry has friends from both worlds and is in the middle of the 2 extremes.

There are little jests at things like British sweets (chocolate frogs "They only have one good jump in them.") and the whole private school world like the list of items required, the measuring for school uniforms (in this case the robes), the precise fussiness of Mr. Ollivander in the wand shop who remembers Harry's parents and their first wands and the technical aspects of each one.

That is an interesting thought parallelling HP with LotR. I must think on that more before I can contribute.

Ebor
 
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Salvete!
Last night as my family was (American usage)/were (British usage) listening to HP, Lord V. stated as his objective immortality. I do not believe that it is possible for a bad guy to draw a deeper, darker line separating himself from everybody else. Didn't the curse of the One Ring involve just this issue? I am certain I have read that the men who became Ringwraiths also sought immortality. Naturally, Adam and Eve sought to become as gods on their own terms.
The only other persons who sought to enjoy this trip in HP was a couple who voluntarily relinquished the philosopher's stone which conferred it on them; after living for hundreds of years, they were ready to put their affairs in order. As it happens, this renunciation of a man-made extension of life was interpreted by certain fanatical individuals as suicide.
Cheers, Dan
 

Ebor

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Dear Daniel,

Thank you for the offer to translate the stories.

That is an interesting point about the desire for immortality. I do not remember anything about the Nazgul wanting immortality. I'll have to look it up. In the movie prologue Galadriel refers to men as "who above all desire power." The power over death could apply here. Of course, the possession of the One Ring gives an extension of life to lesser beings, but it is wearisome after a time. Bilbo feels "All thin and stretched." Gollum may have had the Ring for 500 hundred years, but they were mostly in deep caves with raw fish to eat and no Joy.

Regarding Nicholas Flaumel in HP and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone. One difference is that I get the impression of Mr. Flaumel as a sort of academic researcher alchemist. He's studying and working on it for scientific reasons and not for the focused purpose of immortality. When he finally makes the stone he and his wife just potter along cheerfully enjoying the pleasent things rather then clutching at not dying. Sort of like:

"Oh, look, darling. I had a jolly good day in the laboratory today and finally made the Philosophers Stone."

"My Dear! I'm so glad for you. I know you've been working on it simply for ages. Isn't it lovely!."

"Yes, and it does some wonderful things like change things to gold and makes the Elixir of Life. That means that we can afford that trip to Spain that we've always wanted. And we'll be able to enjoy the great-great grandchildren and really have time to get the garden just right!"

So when it is seen that the Philosopher's Stone is too dangerous to have about, (even in the safest bank in the world) due to being used for Evil, the Flaumels can let go of life gracefully since they did not concentrate on mere existance rather then living Life.

Whereas Voldamort is set on being immortal and also the One In Control. I am suddenly reminded of "The Screwtape Letters" and how the stronger consume and live off of the weaker. I'm not sure where that thought will go, but we'll see.

Ebor
 

AmatorDeus

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As far as I know no one sought any of the magic rings for immortality. The orignal rings were made by the Elves to help them protect their lands. When Sauron made the lesser rings of power, he gave them to men and dwarves so that they would be ensnared after he revealed the One Ring. The kings of men who wore the rings were easily ensnared, but as the dwarves desired riches over power, their rings never turned them towards Sauron. After a while, most of the Dwarven rings were lost or destroyed.

As far as the One Ring, Sauron imbued it with a large portion of his power so that it would magnify his natural power. As a Maiar, he is naturally immortal. Since the ring has a great deal of power from an immortal, it makes sense that the ring would prolong the life of the wearer, but at a cost.
 
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You are right about the One Ring. What I was recalling dimly was a passage in "Of the Rings of Power . . . ," in which it is said that "those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great
wealth, yet it turned to their undoing. They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them." The Three Rings "could ward off the decays of time and postpone the weariness of the world." Voldemort also has as his aim immortality as well
as power, which reminds me again of Tolkien's remark that the dark side of the Elvish folk in Middle Earth was their position of obvious superiority to the mortal folks (and the Moriquendi). Dan
 

Thomas

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Glory to Jesus Christ! :)

Have any of you been able to Read a recent book by an Orthodox writer, John Granger called "The Hidden Key to Harry Potter"? The book's premise is that J. K. Rowlings has written "the most charming and challengiong Christian fiction for children since Lewis' CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. 'The Hidden Key" demonstates that all the Potter books teach Christian soctrine, sometimes with subtlety, often boldly - in their plot, imagery, and character development."

For an Orthodox Christian there are several references by classic Christian and modern Orthodox Christian writers. In his preface he particularly thanks presbyterva Frederica Matthews-Green for her assistance and direction.

I am about 1/2 through the book but have been very excited by this Orthodox world view on Harry Potter being given. If you get an opportunity, the book is available through Zossima Press 231 S. 7th Street, Port Hadlock, WA 98339 or by e-maili at www:john@zossima.com

I would enjoy others comments after they have read the book. May you all have a blessed and Holy Great Lent!

Your brother in Christ,
Thomas
 

Ebor

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I had not heard of this book. Thank you for the reference.

Ebor
 

Remus

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There is another book wrote by John Granger.

"Looking for God in Harry Potter"


And also Rowling herself declared to be christian.

"I go to church myself," she declared. "I don't take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion."
>> http://www.mtv.com/news/1572107/harry-potter-author-jk-rowling-opens-up-about-books-christian-imagery/
 

Iconodule

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Rowling has come out as a Blairite, so the Satanic underpinnings of Harry Potter are now beyond doubt.
 
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St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona had a book, now out of print that not too favorable towards Harry Potter. It's called "Harry Potter -truth about the story" or something along those lines. Somehow some on here will probably dismiss it though.
 
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