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Jesus Potter Harry Christ: discover the Surprising Parallels that Expose the Truth about the Historical Jesus, the Mythical Nature of Biblical Literature, and the Secret Origins of Christianity.
“For those whose minds can ask questions freely without the enforcement of dogma, Derek Murphy raises a genuine argument which Christian apologists have no answers to besides merely repeating their dogmatic convictions in the hope that re-asserting the dogma will confirm it as truth.” John Thomas Didymus – Goddiscussion.com
“Jesus Potter Harry Christ is an ambitious and scholarly work that traces the philosophical underpinnings of Christian theology, and then explains it, using the the god-hero narrative structure. Harry Potter isn’t the focus of the book, merely a prop, a handy example of how the symbolism has been used over time. This is NOT a rehashing of Campbell’s work, but an attempt to delve deeper into the mysteries of Christian faith. It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you know the difference between the Arian Heresy, and Gnosticism, you will leave with a better understanding of what Christianity means.” Reviewed by Brad Wright – Portland Review of Books
“Whether or not one agrees with Murphy’s ultimate position, and whether or not one agrees with his arguments that Jesus was entirely (rather than mostly) mythic, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is well worth wading through, and wade through it one must, simply because of the sheer mass and volume of evidence the author provides. Make this a book whose pages you dog-ear for further reference and second readings.” Tim Callahan – Skeptic magazine’s religion editor and author of the books “Bible Prophecy” and “The Secret Origins of the Bible”
” Murphy sifts through various mystery religions and myths of a dying and resurrecting god, and their possible influence upon the Gospel story. For once, it’s done tastefully and without sensationalism. Maybe you’ve read works by Freke, Doherty, and Harpur. While I don’t want to take anything away from those researchers—their books are interesting in their own right—I found Murphy’s tempered treatment much more to my taste. Without trying to foist a Gnostic version of Christianity on me, and without succumbing to overzealous scholarship, Murphy gently yet forcefully introduces the strong similarities between Christianity and other first-century religious philosophies and mystery cults, concluding in the strong likelihood that Jesus was a mythical savior.” Lee Harmon – author of “Revelation: The Way it Happened”
What do Jesus and Harry Potter have in common? More than you think!
A controversy over the historical Jesus has been raging for 2,000 years. A century ago, biblical criticism had revealed Jesus Christ to be almost entirely based on pre-existing mythology. Since then, conservative biblical scholars have regained the discipline and convinced the world that – whatever else Jesus Christ was, he was undoubtedly historical.
Do you believe in the historical Jesus? Confirmation of your beliefs is as near as the local bookstore, where you can easily find several dozen books defending Jesus Christ, the physical man.
Do you think Jesus was mostly a mythological construct? You’ll find ample support for your beliefs in the dozens of other books a few feet over, that argue Jesus never existed at all.
The only way to get past this apparent dead-end of stagnant dogma and repetition, is to examine the roots of the controversy itself – to go beyond the evidence and focus on the underlying issues. Jesus Potter Harry Christ identifies the similarities between Jesus and Harry, to demonstrate that both J.K. Rowling’s magical series and the biblical gospels are literary fiction based ancient mythology and astrological symbolism.
From ancient mystery religions to modern fairy tales, from fictional Hogwarts to the ruins of Jerusalem, comparative literature scholar and world mythology expert Derek Murphy zooms in on one crucial question: How do we separate the obviously mythical literature of Jesus Christ from the historical man himself?
“Controversial, and full of fascinating, insufficiently disseminated information.” –Heresy Corner
“Riveting and extremely enjoyable.” –IndieReader.com
“I am not paying false flattery when I say that this book is easily one of the best that I have read on the subject of the historical Jesus.” –Pastor Chris, Pacific Haven Liberation Ministries
Whether you’re a newcomer to historical Jesus research, a passionate believer or a well-read academic researcher, Jesus Potter Harry Christ will redefine the way you look at religious history and the historical Jesus.
OverviewAT THE BEGINNING of J.K. Rowling’s internationally popular phenomenon, Harry Potter was first viewed with suspect, and then damned outright by religious conservatives claiming that Rowling’s stories encouraged children to embrace witchcraft. The fallout from this controversy has included law suits, worker strikes, book burnings, and several campaigns to educate Christian families against the evils of Harry Potter. The “boy who lived” became Jesus’ arch-nemesis: the icon or rallying point behind which infuriated Christians could gain support (and a much needed platform) against a society embracing vampires as boyfriends, witches as heroes, and monsters as merely misunderstood. None of this slowed the success of Harry Potter, whose books, and then the movie franchise produced by Warner Bros, have been both an unchallengeable model for marketing strategy and economic success, and also an integral part of the lives of millions of fans who have watched Harry grow up – and grown up with him.
As we reached the end of this journey, the final coming of Harry Potter was treated as Messianic; blogs called the release of the first installment of Harry Potter 7 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I) “A historic event”. However, the tension between Jesus and Harry has not been forgotten. A few extremist groups continue to burn books or protest movie openings or mount the pulpit in frothy defense of Christianity against the madness of modern culture’s obsession with wizardry; but at the same time, the general Christian stance towards Harry Potter has taken a profound shift after the publication of the final book, in which Harry dies a sacrificial death, is tortured using the Cruciatus curse, and has an afterlife experience of sorts at “King’s Cross”. Potter then comes back to life and triumphs over his evil adversary, Voldemort. These motifs have guided many Christians to ask whether Rowling consciously crafted the Harry Potter story after the Passion of Jesus Christ. Is Harry Potter a Christ-Figure?
In fact this question had been asked by sharp-minded readers since the early days of Potterdom. Many bloggers correctly guessed that the details of Harry Potter’s life would mirror at least the sacrificial death of Jesus. In 2002 Beliefnet.com hosted an online debate between several scholars who had published books on the subject, called “Harry Potter, Christ Figure”?
When the 7th book was released in 2007, these early musings seemed justified; especially in light of several comments by Rowling herself to the effect that she knowingly copied parts of her story around the biblical story of Jesus Christ. Suddenly preachers were making headlines, not for burning Harry Potter, but for championing him. Harry Potter was claimed to be a Christian story, which parallels the story of Jesus Christ and thus can help open a dialogue between Christians and the broader public.
And yet the most fascinating question has so far been ignored: Why do these similarities exist at all? Although it is easy to accept that Rowling crafted the literary character of Harry Potter after the figure of Jesus, shouldn’t it pique our interest that Jesus – a monumental figure in modern world religion generally believed to have been historical – has so much in common with the obviously fictional fantasy world and character of Harry Potter?
The main distinction, it will be argued, is that Jesus Christ is real: Jesus has traditionally been viewed as a historical figure, while Harry is instantly recognized as fiction. But does this distinction apply to the many seemingly mythical elements in the gospels? Can Jesus’ miracles be separated from Harry’s magic tricks because they really happened – or will we allow that certain features of the gospels were exaggerated or intended to be literary. And if so, where do we stop? What protects Jesus from the claim that he is, like Harry, a fictional character?
This is the starting point of Jesus Potter Harry Christ; an innovative treatise into religious history, comparative mythology, astrological symbolism and contemporary culture. From ancient mystery religions to modern fairy tales, from fictional Hogwarts to the ruins of Jerusalem, Derek Murphy, PhD in Comparative Literature at one of the world’s top universities, zooms in on one crucial question: How do we separate the obviously mythical literature of Jesus Christ from the historical man himself?
Whether you’re a newcomer to historical Jesus research, a passionate believer or a well-read scholar, Jesus Potter Harry Christ will challenge everything you thought you knew about the historical Jesus.
Please help us spread the word!
Publisher: HB Press
Number of Pages: 490
Publication Date: 2/15/2011
Quick Links Background | Content | Chapter Outline | Concept | Story | Letter from the Author
“This is EXACTLY what I needed as I continue my journey toward self-actualization and spiritual enlightenment.”
“In the newly-released (and blasphemously-titled) Jesus Potter Harry Christ, Derek Murphy makes the case that J. K. Rowling — the author of the Harry Potter series — achieved her success by tapping into some of the deepest and most ancient longings of the human heart. These same longings, Murphy argues, compelled first-century pagans to construct what he calls “the Jesus myth.” Murphy points to similarities between the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ virgin birth, His passion and His return from the grave with the myths of pagan idols like Isis, Sarapis, Horus and Apollo, Murphy hopes to convince his readers that Jesus — just like the gods of mythology — is fiction. In fact, he believes that Jesus is just an amalgam of history’s best myths.” Chuck Colson – Christian leader, cultural commentator, and former Special Counsel for President Richard Nixon. www.breakpoint.org
“Particularly absorbing and highly topical: namely, the idea that nothing substantially separates Jesus of Nazareth from Harry Potter except that most human beings believe in the historical reality of the former. Instead, both figures entertain astonishingly parallel personality traits that derive from universal myths. In many ways, the real heart (of the book) seems to be the analysis of early Christianity as being a mystery religion, and, interestingly, one designed to include the Jewish religion within the surrounding Greco-Roman cults. Importantly, the author locates St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians as the site of “communicative decay that lead to the literalist misinterpretation of the Jesus myth.” As part of the continuing debate over the nature of Christ, not only among Christians but between them and today’s wave of atheist thinkers, Jesus Potter, Harry Christ is timely. Linking this analysis, moreover, to J. K. Rowling’s globally popular character further heightens its relevancy.” Jeff Crouse, Ph.D – Parmenides
“This is probably the first time a book encapsulates the works of contemporary mythicists such as G.A. Wells, Timothy Freke, Tom Harpur, Acharya S., Earl Doherty, and Robert Price. Whether one has a basic inkling or a profound knowledge of the syncretic casserole that spawned the world’s largest religion, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a valuable compendium. Murphy bares a scalpel intellect in his first scholarly venture, dissecting the figure of Jesus Christ while peeling open the wonderful tales the other rising-dying godmen that once upon a time captivated pagan audiences across western civilization. Murphy never explicitly denies the historicity of Jesus Christ, but indicates that he has been basically swallowed whole by imagination and legendry. Miguel Conner, Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio
“The first chapters offer a rather fascinating look at J.K. Rowling’s creation of her hit book series along with the success and repercussions that followed. The book continues from there with an in depth history of the figure Jesus Christ, including his origins and the various fan bases over the centuries. And despite the title, Jesus is not just compared to Harry Potter. The parallel between Jesus and various other gods, not just the ones we have all heard of a million times, is what really makes this book an addicting read. Jesus Potter Harry Christ is not just about the history of Jesus or Potter, it is about the history of mainstream pop culture over the ages. The big question though is what can you gain from reading this book? Why should you read this book? There is no simple answer since this book has a lot to offer for a wide range of people. Jesus Potter Harry Christ is absolutely packed with information and wisdom. You are pretty much guaranteed to learn something new. Joseph Richard Hanson, Truth Saves
“A readable literary analysis of the bible starting with today’s Harry Potter stories and bracketed in the past with ancient myths and literature. As a strict literary analysis, it is very good. It tracks a variety of myths and religions and shows how concepts, thought lines and stories became interlinked with the bible. Any biblical scholar, historian and want-to-be theologian can have fun looking into this text. S. A. Gorden – Midwest Book Reviews
“I have been reading and annotating this book daily, and have to say that it is simply amazing! Bart Ehrman is a former professor of mine as well as a mentor who covers the historical Jesus issue quite thoroughly, and Derek Murphy is lock step with all of the research that I have done and have been privy to… I have been singing the praises of Jesus Potter Harry Christ to all of my colleagues. The author has indeed done his homework and does a fine job of presenting the facts and sides of the arguments. I am not paying false flattery when I say that this book is easily one of the best that I have read on the subject of the historical Jesus. ” Pastor Chris, Pacific Haven Liberation Ministries
“Absolutely loved it! With so much misinformation being disseminated about Jesus Christ, this book was refreshing. Derek pulls from notable and reliable sources to frame his arguments in a way that is both intriguing and satisfying. His insights into the phenomena that captivate the fans of literary characters like Harry Potter and Jesus Christ are extraordinary. To anyone who enjoys a mystery being unraveled, Harry Potter Jesus Christ is a must read.” Andrea Griffith, The Social I.Q. Lady
“This is a truly grand expose of the Christ mythology, and done in such a refreshing and unique manner. Who would’ve thought to come up with the idea of comparing the two characters, first of all, then execute the narrative so perfectly, so that it clearly demonstrates the similarities of these not so ‘historical’ characters? Well, Derek Murphy did! And that’s why I have no hesitation in recommending this scholarly, yet entertaining, book.” CJ Werleman, author of “God Hates You. Hate Him Back” and “Koran Curious”
“The initial discussion of Jesus Potter Harry Christ – focusing on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, the commonalities between Jesus and Harry Potter as literary figures, ancient and current controversies, and pagan gods and goddesses in mythological traditions – sets the stage for Murphy’s comprehensive, fluid and riveting history of how and why Christianity rose and continued to develop through to the second Council of Nicaea (787 AD). From Heraclitus to Plato, pagan and Jewish mythologies, readers are finally directed straight to the Apostle Paul and the instruction of his mysteries to congregations that laid the foundations of the early Christian world. Murphy’s book is too broad to capture in a single review, but suffice it to say that a changed worldview can be effected for laypeople and biblical commentators who are interested in deepening their awareness of the connections between pagan, Jewish, and Christian history.” Clarice O’Callaghan – The Jesus Mysteries Yahoo forum.
“If you’re a fan of Harry or a fan of Jesus, Derek Murphy’s book will open your eyes to the startling similarities between these two characters and why those similarities exist. Murphy takes us on an in depth journey through the land of epic hero tales, their ancient origins and how (and why) they developed. By the end of the journey, Murphy pulls it all together and dares to ask who is perhaps the greater role model; Harry or Jesus? I found this book eye opening and impossible to put down.” Henry Scalfo
Derek Murphy’s, “Jesus Potter Harry Christ” –the title alone had me hooked—is a veritable encyclopedia of the history of Christian conspiracy theories, the Christian media’s depiction of the Harry Potter controversy, and so much more. As a long-time Potter fan, I’m always game for a conspiracy theory or two. I remember J.K. Rowling’s famous interview with Oprah, when she spoke of the backlash she had received from the Christian community regarding her depiction of Harry as a “Christ figure”. This interview is mentioned in the book, but Murphy, an incredibly enigmatic writer, goes much further than that. Murphy doesn’t really care that Potter obviously exhibits the traits of a Christ figure (as do so many famous literary characters-see one John Steinbeck or C.S. Lewis). He’s more concerned with why Jesus Christ himself is so often seen as an absolutely historical figure. Murphy dives into topics that others would shy away from—the mythology of the gospels, the idea that Christianity began as an initiation cult, etc.—and writes about them with confidence and extensive evidence. Although he can be long-winded at times (the book is a healthy 490 pages), for the most part Jesus Potter Harry Christ was riveting and extremely enjoyable.” Reviewed by Francesca Federico at IndieReader.com
Watch the original book trailer or click below to search inside.
“The Jesus that traditional Christians worship did not exist. He does exist today in the astral plane, but he is just a mental image brought to life by millions and millions of faithful people in their thoughts and feelings over many centuries. Imagine the power such a mental image would have! Yet at some time in the future this image will lose strength and die, as a new religion captures the hearts of millions. Maybe it will be Harry Potter, who knows! Nor did Jesus exist in the sense that he was anything like the person in the Gospels. The wonderful value of books like Jesus Potter Harry Christ is that they point out that the Gospels are symbolic, and were not written by the four Gospel writers but are ancient writings adapted to the needs of the people and the time.” Hans Andréa - Harry Potter for Seekers
“My initial response to reading the title was that this was a joke of some sort. But I encourage anyone interested in the gospels and Jesus as literature to read the content below and see that it does seek to be a serious contribution to an understanding of the literary and mythical character of Jesus. Neither is this a slur against Christianity. The author rightly explains that the fictional nature of characters does not detract from the positive influence that character can have on those who love them. The author also answers pertinent questions about his rationale for writing such a book, the status, history and grounds of Jesus-mythicism. I particularly like the main idea of this book: Our question then is not whether Jesus Christ existed, but whether the literary character recorded in the New Testament was primarily inspired by a historical figure or previous literary traditions and characters.” Neil Godfrey – Vridar
“I’m impressed. A lot. I figured that “Jesus Potter, Harry Christ” would focus on the commonalities between Jesus Christ and Harry Potter, but Murphy’s aims are a lot more ambitious. And interesting. In a highly readable yet semi-scholarly style, he sets out to examine the origins and evolution of Christianity, seeking evidence for a historical Jesus who is akin to the mythical figure revered by believers today. Just as the character of Harry Potter is imagined, so is that of Jesus Christ. Thus this narrows drastically, and perhaps even eliminates, the variance mentioned above: the supposed historicity of Jesus, as contrasted with the obvious fictional nature of Harry. The two are seen to be even more alike when each is recognized as being a reflection of our human longing to find meaning in the midst of death, pain, suffering, and malevolent forces. While unreal in an objective sense, Murphy demonstrates that the myths told in the New Testament and the Harry Potter series can point to personal truths that offer comfort, solace, and courage to anyone (which, really, is everyone) seeking to live life more fully, happily, and boldly. There is nothing wrong with religion — so long as faith isn’t taken as the Way Things Really Are. We all need a shoulder to lean on, and visions of Heaven can help support us, just as tales of Hogwarts can. “Jesus Potter, Harry Christ” demolishes part of the foundation of Christianity, Jesus’ purported uniqueness and godly heritage, but leaves the most important part: our capacity as humans to become more and better than we are now.” Brian Hines, author of best-selling book on Plotinus, “Return to the One”
“Controversial, but far from outrageous, and full of fascinating, insufficiently disseminated information. Edward Gibbon wrote, with typical irony, that “By the wise dispensation of Providence a mysterious veil was cast over the infancy of the church”. That’s putting it politely. The fact is that we know nothing whatever about either Jesus himself or about how the religion we all recognise as Christianity emerged from out the seething cauldron of myth, history and ideas. There is only guesswork. Jesus is not a historical figure like Julius Caesar, about whom some things are indeed known and others can be plausibly surmised; or even like Paul, whose personality and voice survive powerfully in the New Testament epistles. I’ll repeat. When it comes to Jesus WE KNOW NOTHING. That’s not to say that a huge amount of evidence hasn’t survived that appears to cast light on Christian origins, though in reality the light it casts is fragmented as though refracted through a myriad prisms. There are the canonical writings of the New Testament, of course, which at least look like historical documents of some recognisable kind, even though there aren’t. There are brief, not terribly enlightening allusions in Josephus and Tacitus that seem to anchor Jesus in history. There are Gnostic and other apocryphal writings that were never accepted by what became orthodox Christianity, but which reflect other ways of interpreting who and what Jesus was. There are rumours and traditions, referred to in the writings of early church fathers. There is some highly disputed archaeology. But there is nothing which can be pointed to with certainty as proving either the existence or the actual teaching of Jesus Christ. Instead, what all this wealth of contradictory material provides is an opportunity for endless discussion and debate. We may know nothing, but we can imagine anything, and can quote chapter and verse to make that anything sound plausible. The current tendency is to locate the historical Jesus in the context 1st century Palestine, emphasising his Judaism and the continuity between his teaching and earlier Jewish thought. It’s possible to create thereby a plausible account of an itinerant preacher such as an original Jesus must have been. But – as Murphy points out in one of the strongest passages of the book – this can only be done by jettisoning most of the theology and mythology in which the figure Jesus comes wrapped, already in the earliest stratum of Christian literature. In other words, it requires a backwards logic: the starting point is the assumption of the very thing which the historian sets out to prove, which is that there is a plausible human Jesus to be found underneath all the theological accretions. But what if there isn’t? The point is not that there was no original Jesus “behind” the myth. (Murphy’s case that there might not have been is ultimately rather weak, I think, but his thesis does not in fact depend on the non-existence of Jesus the man.) The point is rather that the original Jesus is irrecoverable, and in any case is not the Jesus that Christians actually worship. Who (if anyone) inspired the paradoxical teacher of the Synoptic Gospels, the incarnate Logos of St John and the personal saviour of St Paul is a fascinating but ultimately unanswerable question. The Jesus of faith is a figure of literature and myth, who answers powerful human needs, but who has no existence outside of the Christian tradition that reveres him.” Heresy Corner (read the full article here).
“My own story begins in the year 2000 when I first started working in a bookstore. I had never heard of JK Rowling or Harry Potter, but I knew where to find them. We had a huge center aisle display that housed all the books and merchandise. I remember even thinking Rowling was a man for a few weeks until our children’s department manager corrected me. When the fourth book came out, I lucked out and didn’t have to work the midnight release. I didn’t even go near the store that night. But all week long, I got to listen to tons of complaints from “Christians” who were peeved that the entire back cashwrap display was promoting Harry Potter, wizards, and witchcraft. It was perfectly okay though when we did a Tim LeHaye Left Behind display, and guess what? Not one HP fan complained about that. To this day, I have never read one single Harry Potter book. I don’t have to be reminded about how good they are and that I should read them. I tend not to read what’s popular. And with a franchise that spans eight movies and millions of dollars in merchandise, I’d say Harry is quite popular. But public ridicule given to books that opened a whole new door for interest in reading amongst a young generation (and old) does have my attention. And that’s why I definitely wanted to read Derek Murphy’s Jesus Potter Harry Christ. Murphy takes the great debate between Christians and Muggles to a whole new level and parallels the lives and storylines of their two great leaders: Harry Potter and Jesus Christ. At a lengthy 478 pages, with a 20 page Index and another 20 pages devoted to Notes, Murphy has done his homework. Just check out the Bibliography which is another 12 pages. The book is divided into three distinct parts covering a wide range of information based on the beginning, the middle, and the end of both of our lead character’s stories and their many followers, citing the likes and differences. This debate is not new. And Murphy does a brilliant job of keeping his facts and his own opinions separate. He acts as a proctor between the debaters, presenting a wealth of quotes and citations from numerous scholars, reporters, Christians, readers, priests, and more. We get equal opinions from those who support either side and many who support both. Murphy presents a healthy and spiritual look into the lives of two of the world’s most popular literary characters and in the end, still leaves you to decide on your own whose right and whose wrong – or is there a truce to be met somewhere in the middle between fans and followers. And to be such a large book, you can’t beat the hard copy or Kindle price. If you approach this topic with an open mind and consider the facts (and the myths), which Murphy has presented here in a magnificent well-researched volume of information, then you will come away informed and enlightened. In the end, what YOU believe, is all that really matters. LLBook Reviews (read the full article here)
“The research in this book is very impressive. Murphy covers so much material. He spends more time promoting the facts of Jesus as a literary figure than discussing Harry Potter, but he clearly makes his point of the similarities of the two figures. Both Jesus Christ and Harry Potter had miraculous births, childhood miracles, and miraculous powers; battled with evil; were sacrificed in death with a rebirth or resurrection; and dealt with the symbolism of seven, Jesus in the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation and Harry with his seven magical tasks in Books 6 and 7. Why the comparison to Harry Potter? Many other literary figures, such as Moby Dick, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, also endured suffering ending in a sacrificial death with a perceived rebirth and resurrection. I like Murphy’s choice, however, since Harry Potter, has become popular with a major influence on our youth. Murphy’s premise presents a new twist on an old story. J.K. Rowling used the same myths that preceded Jesus in creating her characters. A fresh look at the story of Jesus Christ is timely. A comparison to Mr. Potter is a unique way to do that. Murphy’s implied sense of humor and perspective add to a much needed discussion that often becomes much too austere and heavy. He establishes that there is no historical proof that Jesus Christ existed. He acknowledges that there is no proof that Jesus Christ didn’t exist. Individuals are left to believe or not. Murphy states that he just wants to establish some historical record. The main stories of the Old and New Testament are restated pagan myths, referring to such figures as Osiris, Gilgamesh, Orpheus, Mithras and many others, some of which existed over a thousand years before Christ. The birth date, the death time, the suffering and the resurrection are not unique to Jesus. I read much of this research years ago and came to the conclusion that Jesus may have lived, although that evidence is sketchy, but that he was not a divine being born on December 25 and resurrected on the date we celebrate as Easter. I am amazed at the amount of historical fact gathered by Murphy and reminded that so little of this information is widely known today. How could people ignore all of this evidence? And the myth continues with such a blind side to the facts. Murphy stresses that all he is doing is presenting the information; it is up to the readers to make a decision. The Nottingham Institute (http://nottinstitute.org/)
“This was not the book I was expecting. From the title I thought there would be more about the similarities between Jesus and Harry, with some interesting facts about both thrown in for good measure. It is not, although the first chapter Sacrificial Half Breed Warlocks: Harry Potter as a Christ Figure does (obviously) focus on the two characters similarities, the rest of the book is a fairly detailed look at the roots, and development, of Christianity. A lot of research and effort have obviously been expended in writing this book, but at no point does it feel laboured or like Murphy has an axe to grind (an impressive achievement considering the subject matter). In fact Murphy presents the evidence and leaves the conclusions to the reader. Having said this there are points at which you do hear Murphy’s own voice, in little asides to the main narrative. I should add however that these are delivered with such brilliant sarcastic wit that they only add to the experience, rather than detracting from his academic credibility. The titles of each chapter allude to popular culture enough that you can join the dots up yourself, without having to have things spelled out (Jesus, the Lion King: Astrological Foundations). This also allows you to muse on things uninterrupted, and go off in your own direction of thought. Conversely the subject matter of some, Meeting Satan Again: Draco and Creation Myth, appear predictable and yet will totally surprise you (although there are some familiar names that Potter fans will pick up on). An understanding of classical culture helps whilst reading some of the more academically meaty bits, or maybe its just that those who have an understanding of Classics clearly have an interest in the subject, and will get more enjoyment from these bits… Either way I thought it was a brilliant book, and highly recommend it.” Goodreads Review (read the full article here)
“Derek Murphy’s Jesus Potter Harry Christ opened my eyes. Murphy begins his adventure by noting that the first Harry Potter novels drew scorn from some Christians for seeming to endorse witchcraft and magic. And since those books appeared to be written for children, they were especially malign. Murphy further notes, though, that the later Harry Potter novels silenced some of the criticism when it became alleged that J. K. Rowling was writing an allegory of the Jesus Christ story in the manner of The Chronicles of Narnia of C. S. Lewis. Murphy then asks the huge question that his book answers, in this reader’s opinion: Is the story of Jesus Christ any more “real” than that of Harry Potter? Although raised as a Christian, I began doubting in my early teens that the virginal birth, miracles, raising of the dead, fulfilling of the prophecies of the Old Testament, and resurrection were true. I assumed that 2,000 years ago the Romans had indeed crucified or otherwise executed a Jewish rebel whom the ordinary, non-ruling people of the time loved. I also assumed that the supernatural aspects of the story were later add-ons, meant to persuade credulous believers that Jesus Christ was more than just an appealing renegade, by introducing the claim that he was also divine. For example, the loaves-and-fishes story could’ve depended upon nothing more than the miracle of Adam Smith’s capitalism. Jesus Christ drew crowds—who drew entrepreneurs who could profitably cater to a hungry market when they saw one. Jesus Potter Harry Christ, however, convinced me that there probably was no historical Jesus Christ. He was undoubtedly a cleverly wrought amalgam of pagan gods, especially the sun gods. His birth to a human mother and a god father at the winter solstice, as well as his death and return at the spring equinox, are clearly religious stories revised and retold in the centuries before the establishment of Christianity. The early Christians, though, needed to insist that there had been a historical, in-the-flesh Jesus who lived, died, and rose to heaven. Otherwise, he was nothing more than yet another pagan myth or allegory. Murphy explains something else. Why did the Christians succeed while their competing cults, notably the Gnostics, failed? Because the Christian message was simplicity itself. In order to gain immortality, one had only to state one’s belief in a historical Christ who died and rose to heaven. The intolerance, based upon the idea that there was no other worthy idea, began then. The wars and genocides would come later. Would a mythical, allegorical Jesus Christ have served the world and his followers better? Murphy implies yes – asserting that a non-historical Jesus could still be “profoundly meaningful.” Regardless of your opinions on this matter, Jesus Potter Harry Christ is a thoroughly enjoyable read.” Ron Fritsch, author of “Promised Valley Rebellion”
If you are a fan of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter or love mythology, especially regarding Christ myth theory, this is a perfect book to read. -Vanan
I am a student of history and this book had a great deal of new knowledge for me. I will recommend to my fellow students to read this book. -Henry
This book is a masterpiece. You can find a tremendous amount of Christian history in this book. It’s really useful for religious or secular readers interested in the historical Jesus. -Jerry
Your testimonial here. If you are an author, blogger or researcher and would like to read JCHP and post your review on this website, ask for your free copy!
Your testimonial here. If you are an author, blogger or researcher and would like to read JCHP and post your review on this website, ask for your free copy!
Your testimonial here. If you are an author, blogger or researcher and would like to read JCHP and post your review on this website, ask for your free copy!
A few terrifying episodes of childhood sleep paralysis started Derek Murphy down the path of self-exploration, psychological investigation and research into world mythology and comparative literature. After completing a dual major in Philosophy and Theology on the heavily Catholic island of Malta, Derek had a crisis of faith when he realized that his knowledge of Christian origins and the literary nature of the gospels had outgrown his Christian upbringing. He began to travel the world, exploring diverse expressions of spirituality and researching religious mythology and cultural folklore, in an attempt to pierce the experiential and psychological heart of religiosity.
Living in Taiwan during his graduate studies in comparative literature, Derek became fascinated with the way that motifs from classical mythology and literature were recycled into the movies and books of pop culture (the mythology of our times). He’s currently finishing his PhD Thesis on Milton’s Satan as a positive symbol for revolutionary progress, with plans to move to Romania to research a 3rd book on Jesus’ link to Vampire Romance novels.
Visit him at www.holyblasphemy.net or read an interview with the author.
What’s Derek doing now?
Helping authors and artists become Creatively Independent.
Working on book cover design projects.
Exhibiting bizzarre, surrealist oil paintings.
Working on my next book, Satan is my Hero.
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