Teaching Faith with Harry Potter

A Guidebook for Parents and Educators for Multigenerational Faith Formation

Patricia M. Lyons

May/2017, 208 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819233554

• Sought-after resource for using the themes of Harry Potter in the faith formation arena
• Resource for parish retreats, confirmation, education, and multi-generational settings
• Study Guide included

J. K. Rowling was less obvious than C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien in her grounding of the Harry Potter series in deeply held Christian convictions, leaving many with a strong sense that these stories are spiritual lessons but not sure how to flesh out these theological ideas for teaching, parenting, mentoring, and forming faith. The Harry Potter series stands as one compelling narrative, rooted in Rowling's Anglican convictions of the communion of saints, the power of sacraments, the redemption of sacrificial love, and the defeat of death in the resurrection through grace.

Tricia Lyons identifies, clarifies, and systematizes the Christian themes J.K. Rowling uses throughout the series, so anyone can apply the Harry Potter universe in lifelong and life-wide formation. Readers will be able to use the book as a reference manual for using Harry Potter in preaching and formation, to integrate into the current theological season, or for book studies, sermons, bible studies, VBS content, youth groups, parish retreats, parenting classes, baptismal preparation, marriage, and confirmation.

Audience: Christian educators, youth leaders, clergy, NAES and NAIS members, Forma members, scouting, Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education

The Rev. Dr. Patricia (Tricia) Lyons has spent the last 20 years teaching ethics and theology in Episcopal schools and seminaries. She has a passion for melding pop culture and faith formation. The author of The Soul of Adolescence (Morehouse, 2005), plus numerous sermons, articles, and book chapters on moral and spiritual development theory, she is a sought after speaker across The Episcopal Church and beyond. She is an honors graduate from Harvard College, has an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School and a DMin from Virginia Seminary. She was the founder of the C.S. Lewis Society of Harvard. She lives in Alexandria, VA, with her wife, Dr. Lisa Kimball. Patricia Lyons is also known for being The Hogwart's Chaplain.

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Preface The Girl Who Lived
Introduction I Ignored Harry Potter for a Decade
Part One Why Does Harry Potter Work for Teaching Faith?
Chapter 1 From Rags to Snitches: The Resurrection of J.K. Rowling
Chapter 2 The Bible Tells Me So: Teaching Faith with Harry Potter
Chapter 3 Learning is Magic: School is the New Cool
Chapter 4 Do This in Remembrance of Me: The Patronus Charm Works
Chapter 5 Peace by Piece: Wholeness and Holiness in Harry Potter
Part Two How Does Harry Potter Work for Faith Formation?
Chapter 6 Spiritual Parenting: Pride and Prejudice at Malfoy Manor
Chapter 7 Confirmation and Adolescent Faith: Building Dumbledore's Army
Chapter 8 Godparenting: A Sirius Role
Chapter 9 Faith Formation for All Ages: "Of all that is, seen and unseen."
Chapter 10 Social Activism: What Would Dumbledore Do?
Scripture Connections

"In a manner that is personal, playful, and profound, Patricia Lyons provides us with an illuminating lense through which to view the Harry Potter series, particularly as it relates to the formation of the faith and practice of young people. The connections she is able to make between contemporary experience and the Christian life are remarkable, all the while inviting us to approach the education and development of young people with fresh vision and renewed commitment."
––The Rev. Daniel R. Heischman, D.D., Executive Director, National Association of Episcopal Schools


  • Harry Potter
  • Quidditch
  • Faith Formation
  • Theology
  • Ethics
  • JK Rowling
  • Mentoring
  • Parenting
  • Sacraments
  • Resurrection
  • Liturgical Year
  • Forgiveness
  • Sacrifice
  • Friendship