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Apr 30, 2017

Daniel grew up believing that the Harry Potter books were, quite literally, inspired by the devil. Until last year, when he read the whole series. Now, he thinks they are, at their core, essentially Christian novels. What does Kyle think of this theory. Why does our culture love these books so much? 


In the episode's opening, Daniel reads from an email he received from Some Freaks (2016) director Ian MacAllister McDonald ( 

This episode revolves around The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (, the companion books (including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), and the accompanying films. Specifically mentioned is Alfonso Cuaron's 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ( 

The children's book Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson is briefly mentioned.

The story of Abraham and the near sacrifice of his son Isaac, told in Genesis 22, is briefly alluded to.

Kyle grew up reading Dr. Seuss, the Berenstain Bears, and The Little Golden Books, before picking up chapter books like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series, The Accidental Detectives by Sigmund Brouwer, The Lord of the Rings, and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

Daniel remembers sitting on the couch with his Dad, being read to from Ken Taylor's Favourite Bible Stories ( Picture books include the original Winnie-the-Pooh, Beatrix Potter books, the Alfie series by Shirley Hughes, the Old Bear series by Jane Hissey, Eric Carles books, The Little Red Caboose, Richard Scarry books, Curious George, the Madeline books, and the Asterix and Tintin comics. Chapter books and read-alouds included Red Sails to Capri, The Door in the Wall, The Just So Stories,  A Cricket in Times Square, and The Chronicles of Narnia. 

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events gets referenced, as do George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series, the TV shows Breaking Bad, True Detective, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the films Toy Story 3, The Matrix, and the Star Wars original trilogy, and the Marvel comic books, and CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation). 

Daniel botched up G. K. Chesterton's ( quote. It actually reads as follows: "Fairy tales do not tell children dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed."

Further Reading: 

Many of Daniel's ideas behind the Christian themes in Harry Potter come from John Granger's book How Harry Cast His Spell: The Meaning Behind the Mania for J. K. Rowling's Bestselling Books (

Jerram Barrs of Covenant Theological Seminary has a great video describing the Christian themes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (



Assumptions is written and produced by Daniel Melvill Jones and Kyle Marshall.

This episode edited by Kyle Marshall.

Our soundtrack comes from The Parson Red Heads, who have a new album (Blurred Harmony) coming out on June 9th.

Podcast artwork designed by Chris Taniguchi 

Photography by Jen Hall


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