The Wisdom of Harry Potter

What Our Favorite Hero Teaches Us about Moral Choices

The Wisdom of Harry Potter

...reassuring in its analysis of the moral core of the series. Even parents who do not care to read the Potter books, but would like to know what they are about, will find that the author's analysis can help them discuss the book's moral choices and themes with their children. - ForewordSince the 1997 release of J. K. Rowling's first novel - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - no series of children's books has been more incredibly popular or widely influential. How do we explain the enormous appeal of these stories to children? Should parents welcome this new interest in reading among their kids or worry, along with the critics, that the books encourage either moral complacency or a perverse interest in witchcraft and the occult?In this original interpretation of the Harry Potter sensation, Edmund M. Kern argues that the attraction of these stories to children comes not only from the fantastical elements embedded in the plots, but also from their underlying moral messages. Children genuinely desire to follow Harry, as he confronts a host of challenges in an uncertain world, because of his desire to do the right thing. Harry's coherent yet flexible approach to dealing with evil reflects an updated form of Stoicism, says Kern. He argues that Rowling's great accomplishment in these books is to have combined imaginative fun and moral seriousness.Kern's comprehensive evaluation of the Harry Potter stories in terms of ethical questions reveals the importance of uncertainty and ambiguity in Rowling's imaginative world and highlights her call to meet them with typically Stoic virtues: constancy, endurance, perseverance, self-discipline, reason, solidarity, empathy, and sacrifice. Children comprehend that growing up entails some perplexity and pain, that they cannot entirely avoid problems, and that they can remain constant in circumstances beyond their control. In essence, Harry shows them how to work through their problems, rather than seek ways around them. Despite the fantastical settings and events of Harry's adventures, children are quick to realize that they are just a weird reflection of the confusing and disturbing circumstances found in the real world.Kern also shows adults how much they can gain by discussing with children the moral conundrums faced by Harry and other characters. The author outlines the central morals of each book, explains the Stoic principles found in the stories, considers the common critiques of the books, discusses Rowling's skillful blend of history, legend, and myth, and provides important questions for guiding children through Harry's adventures.This fresh, instructive, and upbeat guide to Harry Potter will give parents many useful and educational suggestions for discussing the moral implications of this continuously popular series of books with their children.Edmund M. Kern (Appleton, WI) is associate professor of history at Lawrence University.Note: This book is not authorized, approved, licensed, or endorsed by J. K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any other individual or entity associated with the Harry Potter books or movies. Harry Potter is a registered trademark of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Under the Spell of Harry Potter

Under the Spell of Harry Potter

Is there a hidden meaning and purpose to Harry Potter? Are these innocent, harmless children's stories? Decide for yourself!

Teaching with Harry Potter

Essays on Classroom Wizardry from Elementary School to College

Teaching with Harry Potter

The Harry Potter phenomenon created a surge in reading with a lasting effect on all areas of culture, especially education. Today, teachers across the world are harnessing the power of the series to teach history, gender studies, chemistry, religion, philosophy, sociology, architecture, Latin, medieval studies, astronomy, SAT skills, and much more. These essays discuss the diverse educational possibilities of J.K. Rowling’s books. Teachers of younger students use Harry and Hermione to encourage kids with disabilities or show girls the power of being brainy scientists. Students are reading fanfiction, splicing video clips, or exploring Rowling’s new website, Pottermore. Harry Potter continues to open new doors to learning.

Return of the Epic Film

Genre, Aesthetics and History in the Twenty-First Century

Return of the Epic Film

The Return of the Epic Film offers a fresh way of thinking about a body of films which has dominated our screens for a decade. With contributions from top scholars in the field, the collection adopts a range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore the epic film in the twenty-first century.

The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy

Hogwarts for Muggles

The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy

A philosophical exploration of the entire seven-book Harry Potter series Harry Potter has been heralded as one of the most popular book series of all time and the philosophical nature of Harry, Hermione, and Ron's quest to rid the world of its ultimate evil is one of the many things that make this series special. The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy covers all seven titles in J.K. Rowling's groundbreaking series and takes fans back to Godric's Hollow to discuss life after death, to consider what moral reasoning drove Harry to choose death, and to debate whether Sirius Black is a man or a dog. With publication timed to coincide with the release of the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1), this book will be the definitive guide for all fans looking to appreciate the series on a deeper level. Covers a range of intriguing topics such as the redemption of Severus Snape, the power of love, and destiny in the wizarding world Gives you a new perspective on Harry Potter characters, plot lines, and themes Makes a perfect companion to the Harry Potter books and movies Packed with interesting ideas and insights, The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy is an ideal companion for anyone interested in unraveling the subtext and exploring the greater issues at work in the story.

If Harry Potter Ran General Electric

Leadership Wisdom from the World of the Wizards

If Harry Potter Ran General Electric

Drawing on the hidden lessons found in J. K. Rowling's novels about Harry Potter, the author argues that Harry and his friends must use intelligence, reasoning, planning, determination, creativity, fidelity, trust, friendship, and other classic virtues--all qualities that make for successful business leadership--to solve problems.

If Harry Potter Ran General Electric

Leadership Wisdom from the World of the Wizards

If Harry Potter Ran General Electric

Drawing on the hidden lessons found in J. K. Rowling's novels about Harry Potter, the author argues that Harry and his friends must use intelligence, reasoning, planning, determination, creativity, fidelity, trust, friendship, and other classic virtues--all qualities that make for successful business leadership--to solve problems.

Baptizing Harry Potter

A Christian Reading of J.K. Rowling

Baptizing Harry Potter

Christianity.

The Gospel According to Harry Potter

Spirituality in the Stories of the World's Most Famous Seeker

The Gospel According to Harry Potter

Contrary to those who reject the Harry Potter books as a threat to Christian faith, Neal demonstrates how the lessons in these books reinforce the central messages of the Bible.