Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

It’s the English class you didn't know you missed and the meaningful conversations you didn't know you craved. Join Vanessa Zoltan and Casper ter Kuile as they bring thought, reflection and laughter to Harry Potter; not just as novels, but as instructive and inspirational texts that will teach us about our own lives. Relive the magic chapter by chapter as they explore themes such as commitment, revenge and forgiveness. This podcast creates time in your week to think about life’s big questions. Because reading fiction doesn’t just help us escape the world, it helps us live in it.

http://harrypottersacredtext.com

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      Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


      In the final episode of season four, Vanessa and Casper pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They take some time to talk about Harry Potter himself, reflect on Cedric's death, and dissect the role of the Goblet of Fire itself. Throughout the episode they take a critical eye to the stories we tell ourselves and whether those are a force of good or complacency. 

      Next week, we're rounding out the season with a final Owl Post and a conversation with...


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         31m
       
       

      Love: The Beginning (Book 4, Chapter 37) — Live from London


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "love" in the final chapter of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we come to you live from our London show. We discuss the grief and generosity of Cedric's parents, the  false promise of the Triwizard Tournament, and whether love can be political. We were so very lucky to have our dear friend and mentor, Stephanie Paulsell, with us to tell a story from her experience.

      Next week we're doing a wrap-up of Harry Potter and the...


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         1h0m
       
       

      Disillusionment: The Parting of the Ways (Book 4, Chapter 36)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "disillusionment" in chapter thirty-six of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we discuss Snape's bravery in revealing his dark mark, Molly's clarity of purpose in taking care of Harry, and the way government leaders tend to let us down. Our question this week: how much are we allowed to change the 'facts' of our own story?

      Next week we're reading the very last chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, chapter thirty-seven,...


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         37m
       
       

      Betrayal: Veritaserum (Book 4, Chapter 35)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "betrayal" in chapter thirty-five of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we discuss Neville and Harry’s friendship, poor Winky and her grief in this chapter, and why villains are prone to monologuing. We return to the question this week: how do we hold people accountable for their bad actions without isolating or radicalizing them? 

      Next week we're reading chapter thirty-six, The Parting of the Ways, through the theme of "...


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         36m
       
       

      Grief: Priori Incantatem (Book 4, Chapter 34)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "grief" in chapter thirty-four of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Professor Matt Potts, a beloved mentor from Harvard Divinity School. In the episode, we discuss Cedric's last request, Wormtail's hand, and whether we believe in the idea of 'sin.' Our question this week: is grief an emotion or something more permanent and essential? 

      Next week we're reading chapter thirty-five, Veritaserum,...


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       2018-06-21  38m
       
       

      Necessity: The Death Eaters (Book 4, Chapter 33)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "necessity" in chapter thirty-three of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we get into Voldemort's psychology, take pity on Wormtail, and discuss the human instinct towards survival. Our question this week is: how do we decide what's heroic?

      Next week we're reading chapter thirty-four, Priori Incantatem, through the theme of Grief. Thanks this week to Rachel Diebner for our voicemail. 


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       2018-06-14  32m
       
       

      Waste: Flesh, Blood, and Bone (Book 4, Chapter 32)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "waste" in chapter thirty-two of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we discuss the most chilling scene, in perhaps the whole series - that of Cedric's death. Our question this week is: how do we keep in mind our own mortality without letting our fear of death control us?

      Next week we're reading chapter thirty-three, The Death Eaters, through the theme of Necessity. Thanks this week to Allison Boldt for our voicemail. 


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       2018-06-07  33m
       
       

      Kindness: The Third Task (Book 4, Chapter 31)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "kindness" in chapter thirty-one of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we discuss Bill's generous questions, Molly's coldness to Hermione, and the need for self-care. Our question this week is: how much do we have to take responsibility for our creations?

      Next week we're reading Chapter 32, Flesh, Blood, and Bone, through the theme of waste. Thanks this week to Connie Carringer for our voicemail. 


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       2018-05-31  38m
       
       

      Special Edition: Owl Post and Rabbi Scott Perlo (Again!)


      Vanessa is still recovering from her surgery, so Casper is taking over our owl post episode this week. We hear from listeners Laurie Stevens, Kate McManus, Talya Sarna and Eva Resnick-Day. Laurie and Kate respond to Casper's question about the importance of libraries, Talya shares some Jewish thoughts on around pregnancy, and Kate recounts how she got her 15 minutes of national fame. 

      Casper also has the opportunity to chat with our old friend, the brilliant Rabbi Scott Perlo,...


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       2018-05-24  37m
       
       

      Comfort: The Pensieve (Book 4, Chapter 30)


      Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "comfort" in chapter thirty of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." This week we discuss Bellatrix's fanaticism, how the pensieve is a model for virtual reality, and why Dumbledore reveals certain information to Harry. Our question this week is: Is it ever okay to be truly comfortable?

      Next week we're doing and Owl Post episode with special guest, Rabbi Scott Perlo. Thanks this week to Thea Raymond-Sidel for our voicemail. 


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       2018-05-17  40m