Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Overstreet

Kids say the darndest things... after reading Harry Potter..

Recommended Posts

Thanks, Jeffrey. That was fascinating!


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised the author of that article failed to work out the implications and further connections between Jews and Witches: that is, a good deal of the Medieval witch-hunting project ran on machinery, energy and angst originally whipped into motion for seeking-and-destroying Jews. One might perhaps also argue that 50s-style anti-communism and 80s-style Evangelical "satanic panic" are sublimated forms of anti-semitism. People seem ever eager for an "evil Other" to be afraid of/ hate / kill; guess Harry Potter is better than less-sublimated anti-semitism; still, it is worrisome to hear the anti-Harrys use arguments that -- replace "Jew" for "witch" -- sound wearily familiar.

Along the same lines, I have been very much struck with what must be J. K. Rowling's (very understandable) sense of being attacked for writing the books working itself into the content of the books -- from Rita Skeeter to the growing "witch-hunt" mentality of the critics of HP in Order of the Phoenix (which I still haven't finished, so go easy on the spoilers -- hey, it's been a busy summer.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeffrey Overstreet wrote

: For a remarkably different testimony about the power of J. K. Rowling’s myth…

Ha! Brilliant! Thanks for the link!


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting theory about the link between witch phobia and anti-semitism. It's hard to see how this could have applied to the New England witch trials, though, as I don't think there were too many Jews in the New World at that point.

I'm not convinced anti-semitism had much to do with the 80's satanic panic, either. My guess is that after "The Exorcist" made demons trendy, certain segments of American Christendom were frightened by cultural trends in our country (no prayer in schools, heavy metal music, etc.) and were primed to find an otherworldly culprit for their woes. Sociologist Michael Cuneo speaks extensively about this in his fascinating book American Exorcism.


To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting theory about the link between witch phobia and anti-semitism. It's hard to see how this could have applied to the New England witch trials, though, as I don't think there were too many Jews in the New World at that point... I'm not convinced anti-semitism had much to do with the 80's satanic panic, either.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying anti-semitism was literally what was really going on in either of those cases, only that people everywhere always seem to have a deep need to believe somebody Other (different than the mainstream) is in league with the devil and doing terrible things -- somewhere -- OUT THERE. In the Middle Ages, the notorious "blood libel" rumor -- i.e. that Jews secretly sacrificed and ate Christian virgins -- was virtually identical to the kinds of things Mike Warnke, et al, said that the Satanists were doing. Also identical, it should be noted, to what the Romans said the Christians were doing in the first century. All to say that witch-hunting seems, tragically, to be a basic human impulse, and that the dynamic between witch-hunters and the fevered masses seems to be pretty much the same whoever the current "witch" is -- it's just that Jews have played that role of Other all too often. Hence the ironies in play when considering Jews and witches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...