watch this panel.
Professor DeYoung opened the discussion with a brief talk entitled “Love Bears All Things: Harry Potter, Thomas Aquinas, and the Virtue of Courage.” In this talk, Professor DeYoung compared three different models of courage: the American Action Hero, Lord Voldemort, and Harry Potter. In the end, Professor DeYoung determined that Harry Potter was the figure which most embodied Aquinas’ view of courage because his courage comes from his love for others rather than his desire for self-preservation.
Professor John O’Callaghan followed this talk with a presentation entitled “Harry Potter and the Cross of Christ,” in which he argued that, despite protestations to the contrary, Harry Potter is a distinctly Christian work. He primarily focused on the use of medieval symbols in the Harry Potter series, and showed the way in which these symbols give the Harry Potter stories a deeply Christian meaning.
Finally, Emerson Spartz related a series of anecdotes abouthis experiences with Harry Potter fans and his interview with J.K. Rowling, the books’ author.