Verdict: 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.
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
NYU student, majoring in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in arts and literature. Author of two novels. Inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jack Kerouac and Sylvia Plath. Aspiring opera singer and harpist.