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Thread: religion?

  1. #1
    Sixth Year Gryffindor
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    religion?

    erm, I was just recently wondering what kind of religions Wizards would have. The same as muggles, or none at all, or... others, or...??? So yeah, what do you think?
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  2. #2
    IckleRonniex
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    Well, we can't assume that they're Christian because they celebrate Christmas, because almost everybody does and is not Christian, but I think that if they live in England it is likely for them to be agnostic/atheists or anglicans.

    Hope this helped,
    Ronnie

  3. #3
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I feel like the religious beliefs of wizads would be mostly a reflection of the coutry they live in. Wizards from North and South America, for example, would likely be more religious than wizards from Europe. And in Asia, would could expect to find a fair amount of Buddhists and Hindus and the like.

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    From what we've seen of the wizarding world in the books, it is overwhelmingly secular, and the only vaguely religious allusions were a few scattered remarks of "Thank heavens," or "I'll join you when Hell freezes over," but these appear to only be common phrases whose religious significance has been forgotten or ignored. True, wizards celebrate Christmas and Easter, but these are the secular versions of the original Christian holidays, with the giving of presents and Easter eggs replacing anything remotely having to do with Jesus' birth or resurrection.

    So, either the wizarding world is completely secular with most wizards having little or no conception of God (as exhibited by the common "Thank Merlin," over "Thank God"), or J.K. Rowling is scared of lawyers and doesn't want to include anything vaguely religious in fear of offending anyone. I think the latter option is more likely, but that hasn't stopped the books from sparking controversy among religious conservatives.

    Personally, I think the religion in the wizarding world would parallel that of the Muggle world, more or less. I find it inconceivable that a wizarding world that had been somewhat integrated into that of the Muggle before the Statute of Secrecy would not share religious beliefs, and have those religious beliefs just mysteriously disappear once wizards went into hiding. Though the magical and Muggle worlds have long since diverged, I don't imagine matters of theology to be drastically different. The only reason why we don't see one drop of religion in the books is that Rowling went out of the way to avoid broaching the subject.

    Tim the Enchanter

  5. #5
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    A lot of it might also have to go with Britain being a lot more secular as a society than other places in the world. I think as read a study once saying that the United States is overwhelmingly religiously concious compared to other developed countries.

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  6. #6
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
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    Well, I'm agnostic myself, but there are definite hints at religion in some of these books. At some points, it references Biblical texts. Especially in the seventh book with the whole spill on the gravesites. Perhaps not the whole "the last to die shall be death" or whatever, but the quote over the other grave is definitely quoted from some psalm somewhere within the Bible. (I have read these texts for literary reference purposes, so that explains why a non-religious person picks this stuff up.) The whole Christmas idea is absolutely right, for not all people who recognise the Christian religion actually follow the faith. They go by the traditon. Honestly, I think that you have to leave this idea open, so it depends on what it was whoever believed. Someone started a thread here a quite ago asking or questioning which characters followed religion. Who? Why? It's open to interpretation.

  7. #7
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    And also keep in mind that Luna seems to be convinced that she will see her mother again someday. This could be one of Luna's daydreams, or it could also prove to be evidence of religious beliefs among wizards.

    Let's also keep in mind that Muggle-borns are always joining the wizarding world, and a lot of them likely came from religious families. I doubt they would give up on the beliefs they were raised with just because they learned that magic exists. How does that really change anything?

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  8. #8
    ahattab33
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    Originally posted by Molly:
    And also keep in mind that Luna seems to be convinced that she will see her mother again someday.
    I would say this is the closest we come to seeing religion in the Harry Potter series - the life after death. But it almost broaches still more towards magic and spirits and ghosts rather than anything spiritual, and the fact Luna is the one have this opinion almost makes it more unique and different rather than something commonly believed.

    Originally posted by Molly:
    Let's also keep in mind that Muggle-borns are always joining the wizarding world, and a lot of them likely came from religious families. I doubt they would give up on the beliefs they were raised with just because they learned that magic exists. How does that really change anything?
    I have thought about this frequently, as a Christian. How would I react if I had gotten my Hogwarts letter? Where would my faith fit in to the magical world? Where does the magical world fit into my faith - how does it all coincide together? Can it? I'm not sure that the last one has an answer, and I've therefore strayed away from it in the realms of fiction, as it is fiction. But...There might be some beliefs other than Christianity that allow the magic and the belief system to exist side-by-side; for a person to pray or have devotion or whatever the case may be, and then go practice magic. I think one day I'll have to really explore this in a story one day, because right now I don't have any answers.

    ~Amanda

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