Harry Potter and the search for a church : spiritual community and sacrificial love in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Examining the Harry Potter series through the lens of late Baptist theologian Stanley Grenz and his theories on community as it reflects the triune God, the themes of love and sacrifice in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series are seen in new light. By placing Harry not as a member of an independently-acting community, but as one connected to a much higher calling—love, even over and above magic—I find that the author’s emphasis on community and family are crucial for understanding fully the sacrifice that Harry makes, and the redemption extended to Lord Voldemort. Understanding Hogwarts and the wizarding world as a church body reflecting a higher power of love, the ostracizing of Voldemort and Harry’s experience of sacrifice and protective love take on new meaning. The definition of community as found in the works of Stanley Grenz, Jürgen Moltmann and Stanley Hauerwas will be the theological lens.