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Saving the Day: Harry Potter as Christ-Figure
Religion and Theology
Pages 6 (1506 words)
Lloyd Baugh’s book Imaging the Divine: Jesus and Christ-Figures in Film lays out an interesting set of qualifications for a character in a film to be considered a symbolic representation of Jesus, or Christ-figure. A surprising number of these qualifications can be found in Harry Potter, titular protagonist of the Harry Potter series of books and movies, and most especially in the second film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
A brief outline of the characteristics he describes will suffice for now. Baugh suggests that a Christ-figure in film will generally display some or all of the following characteristics: They will have mysterious or muddy origins, analogous to Christ’s immaculate conception and unusual birth. They often gather about them a group of loyal followers who learn from the Christ-figure and carry on his mission, analogous to the Apostles. They will enter an environment where injustice predominates, particularly injustice against ordinary people, and will work against this system, driven by a strong internal commitment to an ideal of justice. The Christ-figure will tend to be in conflict with the authorities, even as Jesus was in conflict with religious authorities of the time. A subtle undercurrent of prayer and communion with the divine or spiritual is often present, whether in overt or symbolic form. Most importantly, there is frequently a theme of martyrdom, death and resurrection in the Christ-figure’s story, as they give their life to save or help others, and return from this seeming death redeemed. ...
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