23

So we know that in the Potterverse they celebrate Christmas. Hopefully most people on here know the original reason for Christmas is the supposed birth of Jesus.

What is Jesus considered to be when taken from a in-universe point of view? Is Jesus considered a wizard by the wizarding community or the author/narrator?

(It seems plausible seeing as most of his miracles would not be too difficult for a wizard such as Dumbledore, and other mystical/magical figures like Morgan le Fey or Merlin were shown to be wizards in-universe).

  • 6
    They put up decorations, give presents and eat food, other than Sirius Black singing "God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs" in Order of The Phoenix, there's no indication at all that there's any religiosity in it (and that's probably just a joke). I think it's far more likely that wizards indulge in the old pagan celebrations which has been co-opted by christmas. – Crow T Robot Dec 25 '14 at 1:04
  • 2
    @richard I would say similar but I'm asking about Jesus as a whole, just used Christmas as an example. – Samiko Dec 25 '14 at 1:09
  • 11
    Christmas was a pagan holiday long before the Catholic Church coopted it. If they celebrated something like Good Friday, or Palm Sunday those are pretty strictly holidays associated with Jesus Christ that couldn't be attributed to an earlier holiday/ritual of paganistic origin. – Monty129 Dec 25 '14 at 1:44
  • 11
    tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NoSuchThingAsWizardJesus. With apologies to those who just lost half a day in a twisty maze of links. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 25 '14 at 3:56
  • 2
    @Richard - No. You're confusing the letter with the spirit of the rule. You don't help people who are interested in the answer to this question by sending them there; and you don't prevent identical good content from being spread between 2 questions because they aren't all that similar. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 25 '14 at 14:55
47

There's obviously no canon answer. But there is a lot of indication that at least some wizards are Christians, outside of Christmas celebrations.

  • Rowling has said that Hogwarts is a "multifaith school." It's safe to assume that for most of its thousand-year history, the primary of those faiths would be the almost universal faith of the United Kingdom and Ireland: Christianity.
  • The wizarding hospital is named for an actual saint and one of Hogwarts' ghosts is a friar.
  • Harry's parents have a Gospel verse (a Jesus quote, incidentally) on their headstones.
  • Harry has a godfather, which typically requires a baptism.

Which begs the question of why so many wizards would steep themselves in Christianity and Christian traditions if they didn't believe its central tenets.

Keep in mind that many of Jesus' reported miracles are considered basically impossible using magic. While Muggles would be mystified by Jesus' disregard for the laws of physics, for wizards, his disregard for Gamp's Laws would be equally miraculous. Among the impossible:

  • Bringing people back from the dead
  • Bringing himself back from the dead
  • Passing on his miraculous powers to his (evidently Muggle) followers
  • Controlling the weather
  • The Virgin Birth
  • The Feeding of the Multitudes

Did I mention that all of his miracles were done without a wand? I think wizards are basically in the same boat as Muggles: if they believe Jesus' miracles occurred as described, they think he is likely divine or otherworldly. If they don't, they think he was just a great man.

  • 2
    Of course, you assume that Wizard Jesus would not be using at least a little bit of deception in your answer. Still, I like the first half of it. – Ellesedil Dec 30 '14 at 15:49
  • The evidential approach that you adopt in the first part of the answer seems particularly appropriate to this question. – EleventhDoctor Jun 29 '15 at 9:55
  • 4
    On the note of doing magic without a wand, in the universe of Harry Potter the wand is just a conduit and amplifier and not actually required to perform magic. This is evident from the moment Harry accidentally makes the glass snake tank pane dissapear/switches Dudley with the snake in the tank by accident. It is mentioned that untrained practitioners often display some such trait before attending Hogwarts (or similar academy). – ewanm89 Jun 29 '15 at 11:36
  • 1
    Note that some of what you mention are possible. There are spells (cf. Atmospheric Charms) that affect the weather. It IS possible to multiply food if you already have some (Hermione or Ron says so explicitly). As far as the Ressurection, I am confident that a sufficiently skilled wizard could fake death by means of spells that make the Crucifixion appear to have the intended effect, while actually doing nothing, followed by a Draught of Living Death. Others, however, are not possible. – Demi Aug 13 '16 at 3:39
  • 1
    @Demi It's Hermione but Ron sort of repeats it at Hogwarts. And what you say about faking death makes me think of two things. First is the witch who loved the sensation of burning so much (Windelin the Weird or something like that?) that she repeatedly was caught and performed the flame freezing charm (or whatever it was called). And of course there's the issue with Peter but that's perhaps more extreme. Ah, it's 'Wendelin'. Anyway, the idea you mention is very similar. – Pryftan Jan 14 '18 at 0:09
8

My answer would be: possibly.

In our non-fictional world, most non-believers would agree that while Jesus was a real person (although it's a disputed fact), he never actually performed any of the miracles described in the Bible. Most early religious texts don't put too much emphasis on the "magic" part and mostly focus on the morals that Jesus was preaching. Now imagine what an actual wizard could do...

In the Harry Potter world, the following chronology is given of The Prisoner of Azkaban:

Harry Potter wrote part of this essay on the night of 30 July, continuing on into his birthday the following morning. He consulted Bathilda Bagshot's A History of Magic for information on the subject, and incorporated Bagshot's account of wizards resisting burning using the Flame-Freezing Charm and the stories of Wendelin the Weird. After approximately an hour of writing, at which point it was one o'clock in the morning, Harry decided he was too tired to finish the essay and put it and his other supplies away under the loose floorboard in his room. Later that summer, Florean Fortescue, who was knowledable on the subject of medieval witch burning, helped Harry Potter finish this essay when he was lodged in the Leaky Cauldron for a few weeks in August 1993.

If wizards could fake a witch burning, they could probably fake other things to impress the Muggles from the 1st century AD. Many of these tricks could have been later on associated with the stories about Jesus, as the central focusing point of magical stories in the Christian world.

An even easier way to start a religion as a wizard would be to use a False memory charm to instill whatever you wish your followers to believe, combined with a strong Imperius Curse to make them believe. The only real counter-argument I can imagine would claim that The Bible is canon within the HP universe, but there's no mention of that anywhere in the books.

From J. K. Rowling's perspective, it would have been wise to avoid touching the topic at all. Claiming that Jesus was a wizard would infuriate the existing anti-HP Christian crowd. Claiming that he was an actual saint would be problematic from the "interfaith" point of view. Leaving the question untouched is the only logical solution.

  • 1
    Good logic and nice first post. Welcome to the site. – CHEESE Feb 9 '16 at 23:34
  • although doing a False memory charm on so many people is close to impossible – CHEESE Feb 9 '16 at 23:36
  • 6
    @CHEESE the real Jesus didn't perform any magic either, yet one billion people believe in his miracles nowadays. Imagine what a single wizard could achieve! – JonathanReez Supports Monica Feb 9 '16 at 23:44
4

Please correct me if I am wrong on any of the biblical facts in this article (I have never read the bible so I don't no that much about Christian beliefs).

In the answers above many miracles were cited as evidences against Jesus as a wizard. I think they could all be done with some sleight of hand.

  1. Feeding of five thousand

In the Deathly Hallows Ron complains about their food to Hermione in a quote, I can't remember it exactly but she says food cannot be created from nothing but you can make more if you have some, e.g turning 1 fish and some bread into more fish and bread is allowed.

  1. Raising from the dead

There are sleep potions that would mimic death, take one of these on the cross so you appear dead then when buried dissaparate out of thee cave to be "reborn".

  1. Raising others from the dead

In those days you were dead if you had no pulse or breath. If the person's heart was in spasm or the patient had another hard to detect injuries, a spell could heal them. It would be hard but possible. Alternatively, could he have the resurrection stone?

  1. Passing on powers

Not sure what powers he gave but could he have cast the spell from behind the scenes? Or given them an invisibility cloak?

  1. Virgin Birth

Mary was lying. Children out of wedlock was very bad. She would be trying to cover it up so if she was a wizard she could lie and hope people would believe her. The punishment would be death anyway so she had nothing to lose.

  1. Weather

Pretty sure this is done in the books, summoning water was definitely possible at any rate.

  • 4
    2) The cross is a particularly brutal method of execution. It restricts your ability to breathe unless you hold your weight up on the nails. Going to sleep would ensure your death. Additionally, Christ was stabbed in the side prior to being declared dead. The stone covering the burial cave was too heavy for a single person to move, and somehow the guards slept through it being moved. 3) Lazarus was dead and buried for several days before Jesus even arrived. Even by an ancient definition of dead, it's unlikely someone would remain alive in that state for several days, especially without water – jpmc26 Feb 9 '16 at 23:19
  • 3
    4) Primarily healing of the sick, lame, and blind. Not sure what Potterverse has for this. 5) Goes back to whether you believe the account as written. 6) Jesus doesn't "summon water." He calms an extremely violent storm down to completely placid with a word. Not sure if Potterverse allows for this, but just to get it straight. – jpmc26 Feb 9 '16 at 23:21
  • 1
    @jpmc26 Being burned alive in front of a crowd of witnesses is also a particularly brutal method of execution, but it's cannon fact that not only did witches have this done to them and come back, but that many enjoyed the experience! – DavidS Feb 10 '16 at 10:35
  • @jmpc26 Resurrection stone would still work though. The storm I'm not sure whether it could be done with spells. Some spells can keep you alive without breath to some extent. – Bellerophon Feb 10 '16 at 16:15
  • @DavidS Fair enough, but I think this gets back to believing the account as described, as TenthJustice says. Plus the issue of being stabbed in the side. ;) The fact Thomas later put his fingers and hands into that wound and the ones from the nails would probably make it less likely this was some kind of illusion, too. – jpmc26 Feb 11 '16 at 2:40
1

I couldn't find the quote but Rowling has stated that the the Christian mythos was very central to the world of Harry Potter and that it was important that the wizarding world celebrates Christmas.

There does seem to be no direct canon answer from the novels but it seems very likely that if wizard's knew for sure the truth about Jesus it would be part of their lore. In universe Jesus is as he is in ours; (although I'm really not sure the the world of HP is intended to be a separate world from ours maybe in fact just the opposite) he is a matter of faith rather than certainty, wizard or not.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.