I was rereading the Harry Potter series (to reacquaint myself before the movie release this summer) and I got to wondering … Nowhere in the books does J. K. Rowling bring up the religious practices of witches, wizards, muggles, or squibs. I also theorized that there might be a few possible reasons:
- She didn’t want to give away too much of the ending (King’s Cross and all that)
- She had enough to fill all those books already
- She didn’t want to alienate any religious groups (you know, she might alienate the Muslims if we find out that Dean Thomas is actually Jewish).
I don’t think that last one’s the case, as she alienated enough religious groups. So I’m thinking it’s probably one of the first two.
But then I got to thinking — in a country where (according to one pool) only 14% of people do not affiliate themselves with any religion, and with magical and non magical students attending Hogwarts, there would have to be some students that have some type of religious affiliation. There is no talk of prayer or medition or any type of services at Hogwarts, but there is belief in an afterlife (the “next great adventure).
So — my question to anyone reading this (Doc Thelma — I’m expecting some input from you on this :^) ) is what kind of thoughts might you have (in sheer speculation) on wizards (in the Harry Potter universe) and religion.
I will give the one thought I’ve had … according to one estimate I ran across (on Wikipedia so we all know what THAT is worth) approximately 10% of the population of the U.K. attends church regularly. So you’d think that really, of the wizarding (and muggle) families there would be that many that are active religiously. HOWEVER even though there is some evidence to the contrary (the “owl post” in Sorcerer’s Stone – when the Dursleys were not at church on Sunday but home to be attacked by the letters) I think that the Dursleys did regularly attend church. And I can back this up by a few assumptions.
- It is of utmost importance to the Dursleys that they have every appearance of being a perfectly normal family.
- Vernon just might find some people to see drills to at church.
- Petunia would totally love to gossip about all the other people at church (or all the people not there this week)
- I bet Petunia would love to show off her cooking at potlucks
Just thinking. What do you think.