08 September, 2005

Is Harry Potter A Nice Jewish Boy?

Cia Sutter delivered a lecture on her thesis at Accio back in July.

On the most basic level, Jews are familiar with concepts of witchcraft and wizardry from our own stories about Moshe turning his staff into a snake, Eliyahu Hanavi passing between the veil of this world and the world to come, and the golem. On a more profound level, Harry's journey teaches him to combine his inherently loving nature with a strong resolve.

To Sautter, these characteristics represent the kabbalistic attributes of chessed (charity) and gevurah (courage).


I think it is irrefutable that the Harry Potter Canon owes much of its overall structure to Alchemical literature. Tracing that line backward, to Alchemy's roots in Kabalah is the obvious next step. While I repudiate Hans Andrea's theories that the books themselves "radiate an incredible spiritual power" and are religious tractates for a new age, I think there is much worth in discussing the Kabalic elements of the books. Anyone interested in further discussion is welcome to join up at Harry Potter For Seekers.

By the way, if your only interest in Kabalah has anything to do with Madonna, red strings or 'holy' water blessed by a flim flam man, you're missing out on one of the greatest bodies of literary and philosophical works in existence.

6 Comments:

At 10:05 AM, September 08, 2005, Blogger HUCK said...

Your open-mindedness continues to impress me. You are one complex cookie, kiddo.

I actually have had an ongoing curiousity in Hermetic litterature and the Kabalah. Not really so much in ever practicing any of it, but more so in exploring this esoteric world that has been so influencial both conciously and subconsiously on our culture.

There's little doubt that Rowling tapped many of these resources when researching the epistemologies of the Potter universe.

Everything from the Pheonix to Nicholas Flammel and the Philosopher/Sorceror Stone to even the significance of the specific types of wood used to make wands all exemplify the influence of Alchemy in her books.

Cool stuff. I'll definately be checking out the link you provided...

 
At 2:49 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Your open-mindedness continues to impress me. You are one complex cookie, kiddo.


funny, it leaves most people downright confused...8-p

The links are all good, but I do warn you there's a fair amount of over-the-topness from a few folks at HPFSeekers. You might be tipped off by the fact that they believe the book to be the Bible of the 21st century, and Rowling to be the reincarnation of HPBlavatsky.

I myself don't go that far....

 
At 2:58 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger HUCK said...

Yep. I found that out right away.

I find that alot on sites like these. It's very rare to find any restraint when it comes to mysticism. No one ever takes an academic approach to these subjects. They always have to push it just over the wacko line.

Oh well, still. The stuff is out there and makes for great fiction fodder...

 
At 3:01 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger HUCK said...

Oh, guess what...

*Warning* - Unashamed Blog Plug

I actually posted my first post on my blog today:

whatthefhuck.blogspot.com

Oh happy day!!!

 
At 3:06 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Great.
Now I've got to tangle with the PITA that is my Blogger Template. ;-p

I'll get you added, most definitely. Welcome to Thunderdome.

 
At 3:11 PM, September 08, 2005, Blogger HUCK said...

Thank You!!!

 

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