This book takes a look at the arc of the storyline in Harry Potter, digging below the surface to explore ethical, mythological, and religious meanings in J.K. Rowling's best-selling series. Why do we find ourselves so intrigued with the tale of Harry Potter? Many of the millions who passionately read the Harry Potter series found they could relate to the details, dreams, and fears of Harry's life. From a phoenix that dies and rises again to Dumbledore, a character who appears in a realm beyond death, there can be little doubt that Rowling's story delves into profound themes and ideas. She tackles issues of grief, responsibility, individual excellence, and heroism in the face of violence and corruption. This philosophical analysis shows that if, in fact, we do find ourselves reflected in Harry's story, then we may also find that our destiny and individual potential resonates with his as well.
Patrick McCauley received a PhD in Philosophical Theology and Literature from the University of Iowa, an MA in English Literature from Binghamton, and a BS in Cinema Production from Ithaca. He teaches religion, literature, and philosophy at Chestnut Hill College.