Five things came together to help me understand the plot of the Harry Potter series:
- Rebecca told me JK Rawlings was super smart and studied a lot about Medieval history.
- The playfulness of her Latin and her familiarity with it
- The quote from a few weeks ago about how our brains have so little in common with Medieval ways. of thinking, due in large part to the printing press
- My best friend persuading me not to read Harry Potter by sending me a photo of her tattoo
- Jordan Peterson's book on Jungian psychology, "Maps of Meaning".
1 COR 15
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death...
But some one will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies...
There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory...
Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Telos of a thoroughly moral universe where even matter was moral. Aristotle taught that the nature of a thing had an end, even inert matter, and matter's end was to become gold. All of nature, subject to futility in the eyes of Scripture, would eventually become the highest and most divine substance, which is gold. The Medieval Alchemist saw the Christian task to hurry this process of turning the perishable into the imperishable. Transmutation is the process: the alchemist's craft supplies skill in place of time, which is too slow. Aristotelian universe of Alchemy supplanted by Platonic rejection of telos and rise of Natural Sciences through the ultimate technology of Scientific Method. Even the paintings are serving ends and are moral agents, as everything has a moral signification. Thus, portkeys that muggles can't notice. Thus, the horcruxes that drive the plot of the last book.
The union of opposites- Harry and Voldemort, first book and the last book. This Stone was to give immortality and the Deathly Hallows are three objects meant to avoid death, two to defeat death and one to hide from death. Harry embraces death and thus had attained life. Voldemort ran from death, though he surrounded himself with it- murder to make horcruxes, Death Eaters, violence, etc.
There is no technology in wizarding world. They do not get Muggle technology because they are Alchemists living in a pre-scientific world. This is the world of the Alchemist, not the chemist. They have candles, not electricity, which Muggles invented. They don’t get cars and radios and whatnot. Arthur Weasley is fascinated by Muggle technology but even he doesn’t really understand it, and his whole job in the Ministry of Magic is about the illegal use of muggle artifacts!
Christ is the philosopher’s stone in medieval alchemy, redemption of matter, and even the body. This Christianization of the philosopher's stone develops it into both gold transmutation and also Elixir of Life, which preserves the physical body of the drinker. This is why there are two or three biblical citations in the last book. For instance, “And the last enemy to be defeated is death.” Which is found in a church cemetery on a gravestone as they hunt horcruxes. In Medieval alchemy, it is the stone which the builders rejected that has become the cornerstone.Support Catching Foxes