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May 24, 2012 / CB

The Magic of Words

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Another passage for you out of From Homer to Harry Potter.  I’ve finally finished this interesting book and will hopefully have a review for you sooner rather than later.  Until then…

“Yet another type of magic is the magic of words.  Spells work because words have power.  We see this throughout Rowling’s books.  And it is a teaching not only consistent with, but fundamental to Christian scripture.  God created the world, we are told in Genesis 1, through language.  He spoke and it happened.  He is a God of language, and for him language is power.  If humans are created in God’s image, as the author of Genesis so clearly states, then we must assume that humans also are endowed with the power of words.  The Bible speaks so strongly against cursing, and so favorably toward blessing, and in general about the importance of speech, precisely because words and language are potent….To use the symbolism of [Tolkien’s] Faerie, blessings and curses are a sort of magic–a power that the Creator endowed the created beings with.  Rowling illustrates this clearly through the power of spells.  We must be careful what we say–and indeed, since even the thoughts of a wizard are powerful, what we think.” (pg. 242)



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  1. Dad / May 29 2012 12:18 am

    I like this. I have throughout my career listened intently to words. I don’t think people understand words, their power, or waht they are actually saying sometimes. I often in my arena correct or help ballplayers understand the power and usage of words. In the act of communicating I prefer the listening end than the talking end and to that end I listen to the words a person uses intently……………. I guess maybe , just maybe you got a little bit of the word thing from me and not all your english and linuistic knowledge from your mother. What do you think???


  1. Book Review: From Homer to Harry Potter « Faith in Writing

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