The Instigator
Phoenix61397
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Debatebot5
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Harry Potter is both an implicitly and explicitly Christian series

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Phoenix61397
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 742 times Debate No: 58333
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Phoenix61397

Pro

Con will argue against the above assertion. First round will be for acceptance only. Any forfeit warrants the loss of conduct point, at least, automatically. Thanks!

BoP is mostly on me.
Debatebot5

Con

Accept me
Debate Round No. 1
Phoenix61397

Pro

Hey, first I'd like to thank you for accepting this debate. So, thank you. Now, let's get into my main argument.

1) Harry Potter is an explicitly Christian book series

A) Harry Potter initially began as a simple children's book. The first few books contained basic Christian values of loyalty, friendship, and self-sacrifice. These books were introductory material, immersing the reader in the world of Harry Potter while teaching life lessons and explicitly Christian values. These first few books would build the Christian story that J.K. Rowling had planned [1], culminating in an extremely Christian and somewhat allegorical final novel.

B) Good vs. Evil
The series revolves around a battle of good vs. evil. This is an essential Christian theme, and good triumphs over evil in the end, as Christ will defeat Satan at the end of time.

C) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows contains two direct Bible quotations

"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19)
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26)

These two quotes appear on tombstones in the seventh novel. The fact that Biblical quotations appear makes the novel explicitly Christian. However, it is the implicit value of these quotes, taken in context of the situation, that drives home Harry Potter's Christian message. so this brings me to my next point, and the more fun point to argue.

2) Harry Potter is implicitly Christian

A) Bible Quotes (again)

Let's go back to the Bible quotes. The first is inscribed on the Dumbledore family's tombstone. This quote refers to his sister Ariana. He invested himself in the search for the Deathly Hallows and in doing that , he abandoned his sister, who would die. He betrayed his heart in his greed. This shows Harry Potter's demonstration of directly Christian values, and its revocation of vices.
The second is on the Potters' tombstone. It sums up both the Harry Potter series and the Christian message. Death will be destroyed. In both Christianity and HP, this is accomplished, though in different ways. This is, I believe, leads to the strongest Christian point of Harry Potter, and leads to its semi-allegorical finale.

B) Fawkes the Phoenix
The Phoenix is a traditional symbol of Jesus Christ, a creature that dies and is reborn, resurrected from the ashes.
"There is a beautiful piece of imagery in Dumbledore"s duel with Voldemort in The Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort casts the killing curse, Avada Kedavra, towards Dumbledore, who sends Fawkes the phoenix into the curse in his place. The phoenix bursts into flame and dies, but, because of its nature as the "resurrection bird," is born again from death." [2] This sacrifice of Fawkes prefigures Harry's later sacrifice, and both evoke the sacrifice of Jesus.

C) Harry Potter is a semi-allegorical novel to the Gospels, with Harry as a Christ figure, Voldemort as Satan, Horcuxes as Sin, and Love as the force that conquers all

This is, I believe, the main argument for Harry Potter's Christian themes. Harry is an imperfect allegorical version of Christ. He is born as the chosen one, the only one who can defeat Voldemort (Satan). He is prophesied by Trelawney (a.k.a. Isaiah, Micah, other prophets who foretold Jesus' coming) to be this chosen one. Voldemort, meanwhile, is the embodiment of evil. He is even associated with snakes, when a snake tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The entire allegory falls into place in the seventh book. The quotes on the tombstones, Harry's Parents sacrificing themselves out of love, all point to the main point of the entire New Testament: love conquers all. This point is reiterated in a rather famous Bible verse:

"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

As Harry races to destroy the Horcruxes, and in turn death, he finds that he bears a part of that sin on his shoulders. He carries the lives of all his friends on his back. He carries a "cross". And he understands that he must sacrifice himself. He must die to destroy death. He lays his life down, and Voldemort mercilessly "kills" him. Harry awakes at a white, heavenly version of Kings Cross, where Dumbledore awaits, while the dying, disgusting piece of Voldemort's soul lies under a bench. But alas, Dumbledore tells him, Harry did not die. And Harry is then returned to life, resurrected if you will. And now that he has died for his friends, with a sacrificial love, and all the Horcuxes are destroyed, Voldemort's evil cannot touch anyone. Love conquered evil. Harry defeats Voldemort at last, as the sun rises, red and gold, evocative of the Phoenix.
[http://www.elliotnelson.net...]

As you can hopefully see, Harry represents Christ. He sacrifices himself, from his own free will, for others, out of love. God, according to the Gospels, loved humanity so much he sent his son to die for us.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

He is not dead, and comes back, where evil is defeated. Although imperfect, as no human character can have full qualities of God, this is clearly an allegory. Lastly, if you read my first source, you will see Rowling intended HP as a Christian novel, eliminating the possibility of coincidence. Thank you!

[1] http://www.mtv.com...
[2] http://www.elliotnelson.net...
Debatebot5

Con

First of all, I'd like to say thank you for accepting me. Your argument was very convincing and greatly detailed, so I'd like to congratulate you on that. Now, I can see your point and slightly agree with you, in that phase where I half agree but am half unsure, haha. Now, I'll start my side of the argument:

1) Harry Potter is not an explicitly Christian book series.
A) By saying that, you are stating that those themes are strictly Christian themes when they could also resemble other theme's of seperate cultures around the world-Catholic for example. That religion closely resembles Christianity, except they honor their saints more than we [I'm assuming you're Christian] sterotypically do. With the resemblance of the same Bible, same God and Jesus, same stories, etc, I can therefore assume that we're going to have the same themes too. If you say this series is a strict Christian series, I can therefor prove you wrong because of other religion's themes.

An another side note, loyalty, friendship, and self-sacrifice are common themes and the author, J.K. Rowling coukd have easily heard of these themes from another source and interperated them into her own series because she wanted to teach her audience that this is good and this is bad"so you're arguing that an example, say, the TV series My Little Pony; Friendship is Magic is explicitly Christian, and morals from Aesop's Fables are also Christian-themed. It could've been an entire coincidence, or just a teaching moment.

B) I gave never read a Fantasy novel in my life where the theme wasn't "Good VS Evil"--I can honestly say this is also a common theme for Fantasy series or novels, and a good plot.

C) On tombstones, Bible quotations are common if the corpse in him/her's living time was Christian, meaning that if some characters in Harry Potter are Christian, who can limit all the possibilities about a character's religion? For all we know, Voldemort could've been Jewish.

2) Harry Potter is implicitly Christian
A) I actually have to agree with you that Harry Potter is implicitly Christian-themed because of the similar themes, so on. But just because it has Bible quotes it doesn't mean it's strictly Christian and could have Catholic, Jewish, even Buddhism values about being good.

B) Fawkes the Pheonix represents the innocence of Harry Potter, not the symbol of Jesus. When Fawkes burst into flames it meant Harry was maturing--such as in Dumbledore's office where he learns an important life lesson. When he flies out after Dumbledore dies this represents that Harry has learned that the world is truly cruel and must be strong to deal with it--a thing that we all realise wheb childhood comes to an end.

C). There are so many assumptions that I am slightly confused. Like I stated above, this is a common plot for Fantasy novels, Mrs. Rowling just added her flair which happened to be very close to The New Testaments in the Holy Bible. I really cannot argue on this point because of plots, so on so forth.

I am sorry if I accidentally leave a typo or made a mistake"it was nice debating on this topic!
Debate Round No. 2
Phoenix61397

Pro

Thank you for your arguments! It's been a good debate so far, so thanks!

I'm going to take some of your quotes here in order to rebut them.

"By saying that, you are stating that those themes are strictly Christian themes when they could also resemble other theme's of seperate cultures around the world-Catholic for example. That religion closely resembles Christianity, except they honor their saints more than we [I'm assuming you're Christian] sterotypically do."

Catholicism is a branch of Christianity and is not separate from Christianity, but rather was the initial Christian church before others branched from it. I am Catholic AND Christian. The themes are explicitly Christian AND Catholic. Christianity teaches of an objective morality, which Rowling evokes in her novels. It evokes explicitly Christian values, as does My Little Pony (I assume, I've never actually seen it). My Little Pony is not implicitly Christian, however, which is where the two differ. Aesop's Fables were actually used to teach explicit Christian values by monks at one point: [http://journeytothesea.com...]

Both My Little Pony and Aesop are explicitly Christian, even if not intended to be by their authors. However, Harry Potter was intended to be explicitly Christian, as J.K. Rowling stated: "To me [the religious parallels have] always been obvious"

"I gave never read a Fantasy novel in my life where the theme wasn't "Good VS Evil"--I can honestly say this is also a common theme for Fantasy series or novels, and a good plot."

This is a fairly true point. However, Good vs. Evil is an explicitly Christian idea and was intended by the author to be so. From a Christian perspective, the entire idea of a good vs. evil struggle comes from religion. However, this point may not hold up with voters that aren't Christian.

"On tombstones, Bible quotations are common if the corpse in him/her's living time was Christian, meaning that if some characters in Harry Potter are Christian, who can limit all the possibilities about a character's religion? For all we know, Voldemort could've been Jewish."

Yes, from a practical standpoint, the quotes were there because the dead were Christian. However, Rowling has stated that these quotes also epitomize the series [1]. If the series is epitomized by Christian quotes, it must be, to some degree, explicitly Christian. These quotes also serve as an explicit representation of the implicit themes of the series, demonstrating that the series shows that love is treasure, and that death will be destroyed. Also, Voldemort was not Jewish. He didn't even HAVE a nose. No, just kidding, that isn't why he wasnt Jewish. He demonstrated qualities that defied any morally upright religion, like Judaism. So he is not Jewish.

"I actually have to agree with you that Harry Potter is implicitly Christian-themed because of the similar themes, so on. But just because it has Bible quotes it doesn't mean it's strictly Christian and could have Catholic, Jewish, even Buddhism values about being good."

This was the part where I talked about what the quotes meant to the series. Their implicit value much outweighs their explicit value. At first, without reading book seven, the values demonstrated by the characters could have possibly been Jewish or Buddhist, although they were more Christian than either of those. However, book seven, as Rowling says [1], solidified the fact that this was a Christian series.

"Fawkes the Pheonix represents the innocence of Harry Potter, not the symbol of Jesus. When Fawkes burst into flames it meant Harry was maturing--such as in Dumbledore's office where he learns an important life lesson. When he flies out after Dumbledore dies this represents that Harry has learned that the world is truly cruel and must be strong to deal with it--a thing that we all realise wheb childhood comes to an end."

I think Fawkes is a symbol of Harry in general. Yes, you are probably partially correct on the above. However, his sacrifice for Dumbledore evokes Harry's later sacrifice, which evokes the sacrifice of Jesus. The Phoenix has also represented Christ in Christian art and other allegories [2].

" There are so many assumptions that I am slightly confused. Like I stated above, this is a common plot for Fantasy novels, Mrs. Rowling just added her flair which happened to be very close to The New Testaments in the Holy Bible. I really cannot argue on this point because of plots, so on so forth."

The ending of the seventh novel VERY closely resembles Jesus' death, and in my opinion is a bit too close to be a coincidence, especially after Rowling admitted the Christian symbolism in her novel. Harry willingly sacrifices his life for his friends, comes back to life (after destroying something evil that inhibited his friends' ability to win the overall battle against true evil) and his friends are protected afterwards. Harry's love saves his friends, as in Christian teaching, God's love saves all of humanity. I'm not sure how this is a common plot for fantasy novels, the only one I can think of with a sacrifice and a Resurrection is Narnia, an obvious Christian allegory.

I stand by my assertion, HP is explicitly and implicitly Christian.

[1] http://www.mtv.com...
[2] http://www.lsusfw.org...

Sorry for the weird way I do sources. Your turn!
Debatebot5

Con

Debatebot5 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Phoenix61397

Pro

Well, my opponent has forfeited his round. I believe I have sufficiently proved that Harry Potter contains explicit and explicit Christian themes that were intended to be such by the author. I have refuted all of the opponent's arguments. I extend all my arguments, and ask the voters to vote pro. Thank you.
Debatebot5

Con

Debatebot5 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Phoenix61397 2 years ago
Phoenix61397
Sorry, meant to write explicit and implicit.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
No True Scotsman fallacies are incoming!
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
I would definitely vote no on this, but I'm not as familiar with the series as I need to be to debate it.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Phoenix61397Debatebot5Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.