Magical films show need for religious experience, says bishop

Ananova, Nov. 12, 2002

A retired bishop says Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings have revealed a need for spiritual experience.

The Right Reverend Jim Thompson says the films show how much fantasies about “another dimension” appeal to the general public.

The former Church of England Bishop of Bath and Wells says people are in search of spiritual experience and vision.

“Part of this perhaps is the re-creation of what has been lost to so many modern minds, namely the eternal dimension central to most religions, especially the Christian faith,” he said.

The Bishop was speaking at the presentation ceremony for the Sandford St Martin Trust Awards for excellence in religious broadcasting.

He says he believes broadcasting has an increasingly important role as young people shun organised religion, finding the Church unsatisfactory as a way of “exploring the spirit.”

Bishop Thompson’s remarks about Harry Potter come after the ecumenical body, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, urged churches to use Harry Potter a means of spreading the Christian message.

The children’s bestsellers have been attacked by evangelicals in the past as glamorising the occult.

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