A recent story from the Times of London, on line, about a social study in the Journal of Religion and Society attempting to correlate religious practice with other social events. The Journal looks like a serious journal. The article in question, Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies by Gregory Paul, is on line in full here. Also of possible interest, Christian Theology in the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.


One response to “Hmmm”

  1. garth danielson Avatar
    garth danielson

    Nice article on Tolkien and Harry Potter. Of course I would enjoy anyone who sits on this side of the fence. Me love Harry Potter.
    I read the Richard Albanes book Harry Potter and the Bible. It had some good arguments unfortunately based on some half truths. He has a chapter on Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. He says LotR is ok because it is mythopoetic literature, set in a world disassociated from the real world, thus there is no confusion in the child’s mind. These are mythical creatures in a mythical place. Of the Potter books he says they are set in our 21th century world,complete with contemporary forms of occultism (e.g. astrology and divination), and references to persons and events from our own human history (eg Nicholas Flamel, Hand of Glory, and Witch hunts).
    In my mind Harry’s world isn’t our 21st century world at all but little kids might not understand that, they might believe in magic. Yeah, til your 6, maybe 8. Is that too young? No matter. Soon enough, the harsh reality of the human shit storm slowly starts creeping in, no easter bunny, no santa, you can’t avoid the bad news. And kiddies, it just gets worse, wait until you find out about work and politics, social studies in junior won’t make you ready for that. Anyway, I also don’t think Nicholas Flamel and Hands of Glory are good arguments either, neither is real, unlike witch hunts, and wasn’t that some henious shit. I guess one out of three isn’t too good. And I know there is some sort of history for Nicholas Flamel but there is no Philosopher’s Stone, even though I saw Scrooge McDuck find it with my very own eyes.
    He had some moral arguments based on events in the books but he only uses the parts of the books that support his argument. This works well unless your audience has read the book, especially people who have read the book a lot. Some of the Potter fansites have ripped that guy a new asshole.
    He constantly complains about the bad moral choices of the kids and how this promotes that same bad choice in the readers. Good kids steal, oh the stress of an inflexible morality where all crimes are the same. If Harry steals something and recieves no punishment other kids will think it’s ok to steal. All with no contextual background or reference to other parts of the book which might address that thought. Gives me something to complain about.
    While there were all kinds of sales associated with the new harry I picked up a copy of Looking for God in Harry Potter by John Granger for 30 percent off. I haven’t read it yet, but I know from the dustjacket that it’s a pro Harry book. There’s no need to read it to change my mind, so I haven’t rushed to start it. My to-read pile is mighty, and I like the fiction first. Unfortunately, I somehow have accumulated about 200 books in the last 6 months, all sorts, and some are crying out to be read NOW!
    Gotta go’ Hellboy’s calling, some Serifin have gone postal at the Vatican and Hellboy’s on the job, trying to protect a special document and get it to a safe place before the naughty angels are called back to torch more realestate. There’s a whole bunch of Catholic mythology in this new Hellboy novel that I don’t know anything about. I don’t know if I would bother reading up about it either, I got all of these books to read, and I can still hear ’em.

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