Welcome to Pub Theology Charleston! We will be gathering at the Kickin’ Chicken (1175 Folly Road, James Is.) on Monday September 25, 2017 at 6:30 pm. Come out for food, drink and conversation about things that matter.
For each of our gatherings, we’ll have a Topic Format (printed–everyone gets a copy at the beginning of the evening). The Topic Format will provide the Trending Topic for the evening, Background for the topic, and several guide questions to serve as Discussion Starters.
The Topic Format for Monday September 25 will look something like this:
Pub Theology Charleston — September 25, 2017
HARRY POTTER THEOLOGY
Trending Topic: Theology of Revelation, Part 1
In matters of faith, as with all matters of life, we must distinguish between truth and falsehood, and more often than not, struggle with gray areas. That is the winnowing floor of revelation, separating wheat from chaff. Characters in the Harry Potter series also struggle to separate truth from falsehood. The Wesleyan Quadrilateral is one of the most reliable methods for testing Christian truth, so we will look at the struggle for truth in Harry Potter’s world through that lens.
- Introduction to the Theology of Revelation
- Scripture — There is no equivalent to the Bible in the wizarding world, but the characters must still discern the truth about a variety of texts, to determine what is trustworthy.
- Tradition — Traditions exist in the wizarding world; some work for the good, but they can also be used to work evil.
- Reason — Reason is indispensable for separating truth from falsehood. God gives us minds to use. It’s up to us to use them wisely.
- Experience — Experiences often help us determine what to trust, but can also be misleading.
- Consider Harry’s use of Advanced Potion Making, Snape’s book from the Half-Blood Prince. How does Harry come to trust it initially? How does Hermione advise Harry about trusting it? What happens when he casts the Sectumsempra curse on Draco?
- Desiring a confidante in her first Hogwart’s year, Ginny Weasley places her trust in a mysterious diary. Who does the diary actually belong to? What happened to Ginny as a result of her trust?
- Rita Skeeter published a biography of Dumbledore, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, reporting the worst of his past in the worst possible light. What effect does this book have on Harry, Ron, and Hermione initially? If they had not regained their trust in Dumbledore, what might have become of the mission he had left them?
- What are some of the beneficial traditions at Hogwarts? Seasonal holidays? The feast on the first day of the new school year? What effect did these traditions have upon the school community?
- How did Delores Umbridge use traditions? For good or ill? What does that tell us about traditions and how they are used?
- How did Hermione use her exceptional intelligence? Eg., figuring out how to free Buckbeak, or translating The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Did she always use her reasoning for the good?
- Voldemort was also very intelligent, yet he used his reasoning power destructively. Does that mean reasoning only reveals truth and goodness when it is used wisely?
- Harry and Draco both had experiences with Dumbledore and his ideals of love and diversity. How did Harry experience Dumbledore? Why were Draco’s experiences of Dumbledore so different?
- How did Harry’s experiences with Dumbledore help him get beyond his crisis of faith when Rita Skeeter’s Dumbledore biography came out? Wasn’t Harry’s own life evidence that Dumbledore fought for values of love and inclusiveness, even though the book said otherwise?
- How is it that some of the characters (eg., Dumbledore’s Army) trust in the beauty and power of love and inclusiveness, while others seem incapable?
Those are just a few of the kinds of questions we might like to consider. We’ll probably come up with a lot more questions before the evening is over. Come join the conversation. It may well be your insights that the rest of us sorely need to hear.