Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

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 Matt Potts 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 of Harry Potter chapter by chapter as Matt and Vanessa 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. Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is produced by Not Sorry Productions, a feminist organization that produces podcasts, educational content, live shows, and immersive experiences with the explicit goal of addressing the spiritual needs of its participants. Through community, rigor, and ritual, we treat traditionally secular things as if they were sacred. To learn more about what we do, visit https://notsorryworks.com/. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

May 1, 2016 3 mins

Welcome to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, a podcast by Not Sorry Productions!


Learn more at https://www.harrypottersacredtext.com/



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In the premiere episode of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, Casper and Vanessa talk about why they are starting this project and analyze the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone through the theme of commitment. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of loneliness in chapter two of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss the Dursleys' parenting choices, the significance of numbers, and the birthday blues. 

A small correction: In this week’s epsiode, Vanessa says that the letters for chai are יה (yud hay), when they are actually חי (chet yud).



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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of fear in chapter three of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Vernon Dursley's illusion of control, the psychology of bullies, and climate change. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of generosity in chapter four of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Casper demonstrates his excellent Hagrid impression and Vanessa addresses whether we can or should empathize with the Dursleys. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of "being a stranger" in chapter five of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss hefty ideas like consumerist culture in the wizarding world, Hagrid's status as an outsider, and mentorship. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of expectations in chapter six of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Harry and Ron's budding friendship, the unusual bravery of Scabbers the rat, and how our bodily practices relate to our spiritual experience. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of vulnerability in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss how Harry’s experience with the sorting hat teaches us to reclaim our own narratives after trauma, and extend blessings both to know-it-all Hermione and know-nothing Neville.

*NB: Vanessa’s opening story is about sexual assault. If you want to skip it, the 30-second recap starts about 5 minutes into the ...

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of promises in chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss tropes in bad 80s tv shows, Harry's reaction to his own fame, and Hermione's destiny to smash the patriarchy. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of betrayal in chapter nine of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss bullying, Brexit, and why Professor mcGonagall might be a worse teacher than you think. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of friendship in chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Hermione's confrontation with mortality, give an allegorical reading of Quidditch, and offer a possible redemption for McGonagall after last week's criticism. 

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July 30, 2016 25 mins
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of goals in chapter eleven of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Voldemort's questionable judgment in this chapter, whether our intentions are as important as our actions, and Vanessa's lasting admiration for Whoopi Goldberg. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of white privilege in chapter twelve of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Molly Weasley's continued generosity, explore the topic of invisibility both literally and metaphorically, and begin a new spiritual exercise: the Jewish practice of Havruta. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of hope in chapter thirteen of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Neville's brawl with the Slytherins, the sacred space of quidditch, and whether a rhetoric of hope can be exploitative.

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Vanessa recounts how she came to read literature as sacred and, in Casper’s absence, uses voicemails from the audience as her conversation partners this week. Together, they touch on a new theology of horcruxes, the difficulty of transitions, and why Hermione wasn't sorted into Ravenclaw. We’re back to your regularly scheduled programming next week!

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of rebellion in chapter fourteen of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss Casper's high school antics, Hagrid's lack of self-care, and whether the ends justify the means when Hermione manipulates Hagrid to gain information about the Sorcerer's Stone. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of regret in chapter fifteen of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss the eccentric behavior of centaurs, celebrate Neville's burgeoning bravery, and try to justify Filch's ongoing sadism in this chapter. Throughout the episode they return to the question: why do we regret things that are out of our control? This week's voicemail is thanks to Kevin Bianchi. 

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Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of destiny in chapter sixteen, the penultimate chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They discuss why Neville is excluded from the trio's adventure, where Hermione's strengths and weaknesses come from, and the possible symbolism of chess pieces. Throughout the episode they look at the question: are our choices part of our destiny? This week's voicemail is thanks to Micah Herstand.&nb...

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**Note: We had some technical difficulties in the studio this week (mainly with Casper’s microphone) so unfortunately the sound of this episode is not up to our usual standard and occasionally distracting. Still, the conversation was fruitful enough that we wanted to share it with you. Thanks for your patience and, if you have the option, maybe leave your good headphones at home for this one! Vanessa and Casper explore the the...

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In the final episode of season one, Vanessa and Casper pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. They finally get around to talking about Harry himself, revisit the kindness of the Weasley twins, and think about the thematic relevance of food in the book. Throughout the episode they come back to ideas about vulnerability, friendship, and love. Note: Unfortunately, we're still having trouble with m...

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