It's been almost three weeks since the last post! I think that's a record here. I have thought of quite a few things I would like to have posted, but...no time. More on that later.
I attended a talk tonight, after an Altar Rosary Society meeting, at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. Every fall they have a Catholic literature series with talks given weekly. This year the topic is Children's Literature and tonight's talk was about the Harry Potter series. The speaker is a philosophy professor at Notre Dame and a homeschool dad. It was in a good-sized lecture hall and was very well attended.
I'll not write too much about it because it wouldn't be nearly as meaningful as how it was spoken. Mr. O'Callaghan started out discussing some of the most well known philosophers (Socrates, Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Descartes to name a few) and their individual philosophies of life. Then he eased into how this all relates to the Harry Potter novels. Whether it was intentional by the author or not the story from beginning to end is a Christian allegory. No matter what your religion is, no matter what Dumbledore's background story is, no matter what your philosophy of life is, no matter what Rowling's faith life is, if you have eyes to see (as O'Callaghan says), there is an incredible amount of Christian meaning.
On a side note, one of the daughters of the speaker recited an excerpt from one of the novels at a Catholic Homeschool Talent Show a couple of years ago and was booed by some in the mostly Catholic audience.
Mr. O'Callaghan stated that when he started reading the novels after their children received them as gifts, it was to make sure they were appropriate for them to be reading. He had heard from other parents already that the books were about evil, witchcraft and sorcery. After reading them, he decided that he wasn't just going to let the children read the novels, he was going to make them! They are full of powerful philosophical and religious messages!
I could go on and on. I want to end by mentioning that I talked with a couple of other mothers afterwards in the parking lot and one of them made the correlation of the message of the books to being a stay at home mom. We are not of the will-to-power philosophy, but we believe that sacrificial love is what leads to true happiness. Love is everything.
I will try to post the talk here when I receive it...