Spend Two Minutes With The Co-Host Of The Podcast ‘Harry Potter And The Sacred Text’

Spend Two Minutes With The Co-Host Of The Podcast ‘Harry Potter And The Sacred Text’


“Nearly 10 years had passed since the Dursleys had woken up to find their nephew on the front step. But Privet Drive had hardly changed at all. The sun rose on the same type …” I am a Jewish atheist who ended up at divinity school and I’ve been co-hosting my podcast, “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text”
for three years. It is a secular Bible study,
but using Harry Potter instead of the Bible. I’m somebody who grew up with a very complicated relationship with religion. All four of my grandparents are Holocaust survivors, and, you know, God just didn’t really
exit Auschwitz with my grandparents. And so I like to sort of think of myself as a chaplain
standing outside the church steps, being like, I see the people
who aren’t quite welcome in here. By treating Harry Potter as sacred,
we are not worshipping. We don’t believe that Harry Potter
is in and of itself a sacred text. But I think what it does is allows us
to empathize with people who aren’t real, and therefore,
we can experiment with feeling what it’s like to empathize with the Dursleys, for example. Petunia Dursley is a child abuser, but she’s also a woman who takes in a kid,
and then is very unhospitable about it. And I see that in myself. I don’t hit any of my guests, but I see myself saying to a friend of a friend,
‘Yeah, of course you can sleep on my couch while you’re in town for the night,’ and then
resenting them when they actually show up two months later. And it has forced me to be
gracious on those nights that the person actually shows up, because I do not want to be Petunia Dursley. So I think that you learn a lot about yourself by
reading these characters closely. Casper, as we discussed, we’re going to talk
about a different theme every week, and this week we’re going to talk about commitment. And I don’t know about you, but… What we’re inviting people to do is
to slow down and pay attention, and interact with the world with intention. Now that we’re reading through commitment,
I see it everywhere. It’s like Rowling is introducing us
to these people through commitment, which I had never thought of before…

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