maincurve UC Library MyUC iLearn Webmail Home
title Media Relations Home



UC Psychology Department Holds Harry Potter Lecture


Williamsburg, Ky. - On Monday, October 29, 2012, the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Psychology Department professors, Ms. Jane Whitaker and Mrs. Kristy Keefe, addressed students, staff, and faculty at UC on the psychology of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter, a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author, J. K. Rowling , is a well-known series that has been developed into award winning films that have earned $6.37 billion over the last decade. Due to the basis of this collection containing witchcraft, warlocks and magic, it has been a topic of concern and for most Christian beliefs.

During the lecture, the professors focused on the themes of evil, destruction and death which are portrayed throughout the Harry Potter books. They also discussed why readers are so drawn to the series. The UC professors compared the Harry Potter books to Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and Star Wars which are all popular in today’s culture and share a common theme of death, magic, and darkness.

“If you can set the witchcraft aside, it is a very rich story filled with good psychological and biblical themes,” said Whitaker as she critiqued the fine work by J.K. Rowling.

Several biblical themes found throughout the Harry Potter series were discussed such as bearing a curse, a desire to be like God, unstoppable invitation, freedom for the enslaved, redemption, being a seeker, the internal battle of good and evil, self-sacrifice, afterlife, love wins over evil, and that reality is not always what we see.

“The Biblical themes discussed in the lecture were relatable to a lot of things in real life,” said Kerstin Harmon. “The struggle with good/evil throughout the series also reminds you of the struggles we face today.”

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Kayla Petit, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant