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News Release

Literary and Religious Elements of Harry Potter Series to be Explained

Bethlehem, Pa., October 31, 2007— Friends of the Reeves Library at Moravian College will hold an open-ended panel discussion and Q&A focusing on the literary and religious elements found throughout J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. “What’s the whole Harry Potter story?” will be held on Friday, November 2, from 7 to 9 p.m.,  in the Saal of the Bahnson Center, Moravian Theological Seminary. Admission to the program is free and the public is welcome.

Martha Reid, professor of English, Moravian College, will serve as a panelist and moderator. Other panelists will include Deborah Appler, associate professor of Old Testament, Moravian Theological Seminary, who will focus on the religious dimensions of the Harry Potter material and how churches have reacted to Rowling’s books, and  John Granger, author of Looking for God in Harry Potter and Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader.

Granger is a conservative “Orthodox Christian” who initially looked on the Harry Potter books with suspicion, then read them and became convinced that they tell an engaging story with a profound spiritual message. He has analyzed the books from both the religious and the literary angle, focusing in particular on the alchemical images and patterns of the individual books and the overarching story, in which the “black,” “white,” and “red” stages of the alchemical transformation (dissolution, purification, and perfection) produce, in the end, the “golden” result of the unified, triumphant character of Harry.
In the spirit of the Potter series, the audience will be invited to partake in Harry Potter-like treats from Bertie Bott's Beans to Pumpkin Pasties, and Chocolate Frogs. The Bahnson Center is located at 60. W. Locust Street in Bethlehem, Pa.

The Friends of Reeves Library is a group of individuals who have three main functions: to provide funds for enhancing the collections and services of the library, to support special projects and programs which will make the Library’s resources better known both on and off campus, and to sponsor lectures, receptions, and openings throughout the year for members and others. The Friends of Reeves Library welcome as members all those who share an interest in supporting the library. For more information on the talk or to inquire about membership in Friends of Reeves Library, call 610 861-1540 or email berkr@moravian.edu.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.