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Constructing a Distinct Other: Harry Potter and the Enchantment of the Future

Wiktorin, Pierre LU (2007) In Anpere: Anthropological Perspectives on Religion
Abstract
In this article I argue that the Harry Potter series could function as a critique or commentary

to the ordinary contemporary society. Rowling’s construction of the Wizard world bears resemblance

to a distinct Other, which is frequently used by the tourist industry and various religious

traditions. While the main purpose for the tourist industry to invoke a distinct Other

lies in its promoting abilities, the religious traditions often use the distinct Other to show their

ethic supremacy. The last, I believe, is the case with the Harry Potter series as well since the

books promote a meritocratic, causal orientation towards the world.

When arguing for a meritocratic and causal... (More)
In this article I argue that the Harry Potter series could function as a critique or commentary

to the ordinary contemporary society. Rowling’s construction of the Wizard world bears resemblance

to a distinct Other, which is frequently used by the tourist industry and various religious

traditions. While the main purpose for the tourist industry to invoke a distinct Other

lies in its promoting abilities, the religious traditions often use the distinct Other to show their

ethic supremacy. The last, I believe, is the case with the Harry Potter series as well since the

books promote a meritocratic, causal orientation towards the world.

When arguing for a meritocratic and causal orientation towards the world, Rowling disenchants

the past and enchants the future. She lets the main characters in the series conduct

a crusade against participation oriented attitudes and characters. Contrary to what certain

Christian groups seem to think this is by no means hostile towards religion as we find it in

Northern Europe and North America. Only traditions with a participatory orientation are under

attack. (Less)
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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Harry Potter, Christianity, contemporary religion, late modern society
in
Anpere: Anthropological Perspectives on Religion
publisher
Anpere
ISSN
1653-6355
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
42e3a611-56bd-426e-971f-4a67c4eac22a (old id 1033079)
alternative location
http://www.anpere.net/
date added to LUP
2008-02-18 15:46:46
date last changed
2016-04-16 06:50:36
@article{42e3a611-56bd-426e-971f-4a67c4eac22a,
  abstract     = {In this article I argue that the Harry Potter series could function as a critique or commentary<br/><br>
to the ordinary contemporary society. Rowling’s construction of the Wizard world bears resemblance<br/><br>
to a distinct Other, which is frequently used by the tourist industry and various religious<br/><br>
traditions. While the main purpose for the tourist industry to invoke a distinct Other<br/><br>
lies in its promoting abilities, the religious traditions often use the distinct Other to show their<br/><br>
ethic supremacy. The last, I believe, is the case with the Harry Potter series as well since the<br/><br>
books promote a meritocratic, causal orientation towards the world.<br/><br>
When arguing for a meritocratic and causal orientation towards the world, Rowling disenchants<br/><br>
the past and enchants the future. She lets the main characters in the series conduct<br/><br>
a crusade against participation oriented attitudes and characters. Contrary to what certain<br/><br>
Christian groups seem to think this is by no means hostile towards religion as we find it in<br/><br>
Northern Europe and North America. Only traditions with a participatory orientation are under<br/><br>
attack.},
  author       = {Wiktorin, Pierre},
  issn         = {1653-6355},
  keyword      = {Harry Potter,Christianity,contemporary religion,late modern society},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Anpere},
  series       = {Anpere: Anthropological Perspectives on Religion},
  title        = {Constructing a Distinct Other: Harry Potter and the Enchantment of the Future},
  year         = {2007},
}