November 28th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Holy Harry!

Harry Potter might have a place in heaven. Danielle Tumminio ’03, DIV ’06, a lecturer in religion and literature, believes that there is more to the beloved “Harry Potter” series than the appeal of witchcraft and wizardry — something more holy.

In her book “God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy in an Ivy League Classroom,” set to come out Dec. 15, she explores the parallels between Harry’s behavior and Christian life.

“I felt strongly that it was important to have a voice on the Harry Potter series that offered an analysis of the Christian dimensions of the book that extended beyond a discussion of whether or not the books were heretical because characters were witches and wizards,” Tumminio told the News.

Harry Potter struggles with themes such as why God allows evil, and how one can respond to evil, as well as with the idea of sacrifice as it becomes central in the lives of characters like Dumbledore, Harry, Lily Potter, and Snape, Tumminio said.

“God and Harry Potter at Yale” is based on the residential college seminar Tumminio taught for two semesters at Yale, “Christian Theology and Harry Potter.”

“This book would be completely different if I had never taught the course,” Tumminio said. “The book is structured very similarly to a class session, where we first discuss a theological idea and then look to how that idea appears, or does not appear in the ‘Harry Potter’ series.”