Chris told me about a fascinating MTV interview (click on USA when the pop-up pops) that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, did back in the fall of 2007.
I've not read the books and I've not seen the films, but I have heard the North American Christian uprising against the books because of the content of sorcery. Potter books have been banned from Christian schools. Rowling has been accused of corrupting the youth and leading them to the magic arts. Etc.
But Rowling is a practicing Christian.
"To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious," she said. "But I never wanted to talk too openly about it because I thought it might show people who just wanted the story where we were going."In her final book she quotes almost verbatim from Matthew 6:19 and 1 Corinthians 15:26 and she claims that the books entire theme is death and resurrection - a central tenet of the Christian faith.
So, why couldn't so many Christians see past the magical allegory? I contend that Christians have a predisposition to Greek dualism, the belief that there is a heavenly ideal and everything here on earth is corrupt and should therefore be exorcised from our lives as we strive for perfection. This leads to the categorization of everything into sacred and secular where there is nothing good in the secular. Jewish thought is very different - God's fingerprints are everywhere in his creation and we should therefore consider everything sacred from traveling, eating, working, relating to others, and to our very own creations - including the writing of books.
Plus, The Lord of the Rings is readily embraced by Christians today despite its very high content of wizardry and magic.