Harry Potter, Christ Figure?

Professional Harry watchers on whether J.K. Rowling's hero is meant to resemble Christ

When the movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" was released Beliefnet invited a group of experts to discuss the Potter phenomenon. One topic: Did Harry's creator, J.K. Rowling, intend the similarities our group found between Harry and Jesus?

Authors often give fictional heroes Christ-like attributes--Billy Budd's death on the yardarm, Hemingway's old fisherman shouldering his mast--to give them mythical depth. Is Harry a Christ figure? The answer may dictate how we think about him--and tell us what to expect from upcoming books.

The chart below details Rev. John Killinger's reasons to believe Harry is a Christ figure.


of the debate follow.


Signs of Arrival An owl foretells Harry's coming. The Christmas Star foretold Jesus' birth.
Mark of Wounding Lightning bolt on his forehead. Nail scars on hands and feet.
Childhood Powers Talks to snake, leaps to rooftops. In apocryphal gospel, gives clay sparrows life.
Ancestry Linked to both Muggles and Wizards. Linked to God and humanity.
Enemies The object of Voldemort's wrath and attention. The object of Satan's wrath and attention.
Resurrection Spends three days in a coma after battling Voldemort. Spends three days in a tomb before being resurrected.
Nether Regions Descends to the Chamber of Secrets. Descended to hell while in the tomb.
Harry Saves? Exhibits constant willingness to engage Voldemort for the salvation of others. Died on the cross for the salvation of others.
Suffering Endures the pain of the Cruciatus Curse. Endured pain on the cross.
Father Figure Dumbledore God the Father

Selected Debate Highlights
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