HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

Harry Potter: A Symbol of the Infinite Power of Courage and Love
David J. Gras  

Harry Potter exemplifies courage as a major virtue throughout the seven book series. The Dark Lord rejects this important element from his life because of his fear of death and his selfish desire to preserve his own immortality at the cost of the lives of many others. Dr. Rebecca De Young in her paper, “Love bears all things, Harry Potter and the Virtue of Courage”, states “Courage is the virtue that enables us to face and stand firm against our fear of injury, difficulty, and ultimately death for the sake of some good end that transcends us.

We will discuss:
1) The various chapters from the Harry Potter series that show us the sacrificial courage that Harry and his friends exemplify in the face of injury and death to protect the innocent and to eventually save the Wizarding world from certain enslavement by Voldemort and the Death-Eaters.
2) Why “courage” was impossible for the Dark Lord to understand or accept.
3) The difference between Harry's willingness to sacrifice himself in the face of death and how Voldemort seeks to eliminate the fear of death by gaining his own power over death itself. Harry Potter: The Suffering Hero's Journey In Harry's journey through the seven book series we see many parallels of the “suffering hero” within other fantasy works that are similar to J K Rowling's Harry Potter story. In Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins immediately comes to mind in this category. Both carry a burden and a scar from their respective encounters with the forces of darkness.

We will discuss:
1) The parallels between the two “suffering hero's” (Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins) and how the two great fantasy stories of our time complement each other within the hero's journey they both take to defeat the evil threat within their respective fantasy worlds.
2) How does the “ring of power” that Frodo must bear alone to Mount Doom compare to the “scar horcrux” that Harry must also bear alone in the ultimate sacrifice that both must make to save their worlds from destruction and enslavement? Harry Potter: Self-Sacrificial Love-Victory over Death the elements of courage and the suffering hero standing in the battleground of both Harry's fictional journey and our own choices on the path of life lead us to the gift that Albus Dumbledore stated was greater than any magic……love. In the “Kings Cross” chapter of `Deathly Hallows', Albus Dumbledore struggled with the choice of power in his pursuit of the Hallows with Grindelwald and suffered the death of his sister Ariana as the price for his decision. In light of Harry's self-sacrifice in the forest to save his friends and the Wizarding world from the Dark Lord, Dumbledore calls Harry the better man. What can we learn from literary works such as Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and other great classics of the power of love to change our world and to turn the tide of prejudice, hatred and despair in our time?

David J. Gras resides in Aurora, Ohio. He has been analyzing the Harry Potter series from a Christian apologetic perspective, as well as other fantasy literature, for over 8 years. This was initiated when his then 12-year old daughter was being chastised by Christian friends for her fondness of the Harry Potter series. His goal is to educate on the Christian symbolism that is contained within the Potter book series. David has had the pleasure of traveling to the United Kingdom on several occasions to visit Harry Potter movie filming sites and has also assisted as a part-time staff for Beyond Boundaries Travel on their “HP Fan Trips.” David is an area  speaker/presenter/teacher to various youth/parent groups in regard to Fantasy Literature and the Christian church.
Presenter: Spellbound 2005; Lumos 2006; Harry Potter Festival 2007; Portus 2008; “Searching for Platform 9-3/4 – an Academic Harry Potter Experience,” Northern Illinois University 2008; Panel discussion/podcast with John Granger and Travis Prinzi, Azkatraz 2009.
Formal Programming