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Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter

Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter

Patrick McCauley

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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.

Size: 7″ x 10″ | 12 color images | 176 pp
ISBN13: 9780764349454 | Binding: hard cover

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Patrick McCauley, PhD, teaches religion, philosophy, and literature at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. He co-coordinates the annual Harry Potter Conference held every October at Chestnut Hill. He holds a PhD in Philosophical Theology and Literature, an MA in English Literature, and a BS in cinema production. His first book, Reading by the Light of A Burning Phoenix: A Kantian Interpretation of Hesse, appeared in 2011. He is fascinated with profound questions of human meaning found within popular movies, music, and books. He enjoyed reading the Harry Potter novels with his grade school boys.