Harry Potter and the Sacred Text-logo

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

Panoply

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.

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.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Panoply

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Witch, Please: Queer Theory

4/15/2021
We have one more week off between seasons of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text! While we're off, we thought we'd share a recent episode from our sister show, the brilliant feminist Harry Potter podcast Witch, Please. -- We have an episode for you that, in our professional opinion, is very gay. And by gay we mean inviting expansively, radically, resistantly queer readings of a text that is trying very very hard to perform heterosexuality and binary gender! We breeze by the obvious...

Duration:01:07:05

The Real Question: Grandparents

4/8/2021
We're taking a two week break between seasons of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text! While we're off, we thought we'd share a recent episode of The Real Question. Casper wants to feel closer to his paternal grandparents. But there’s a problem: they’ve been dead for a few years now. Is there a way, as he grows older, for him to keep his grandparents an active part of his life? Drawing upon The Suitcase by Frances Stoner Saunders and Children and Art from the musical Sunday in the Park with...

Duration:00:49:08

Transitions: The Boy Who Lived (Book 1, Chapter 1) - Live From Vanessa’s Living Room

4/1/2021
This week, Vanessa and Casper finish their time together by reading Book 1, Chapter 1 through the theme of Transitions. We recorded this episode live in front of a streaming audience in partnership with 6th and I in Washington, D.C. It's Casper's last episode and we love him so much! Thanks to everyone who made it to the live stream! We’ll be taking the next week off. Book one, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, starts April 22th with our new co-host, Matt Potts. See...

Duration:00:59:22

Special Edition: Whole Series Wrap-Up

3/25/2021
Vanessa and Casper look back at the past five years of making Harry Potter and the Sacred Text and their experience reading all seven Harry Potter books. What surprised them along the way? What do they wish they had done differently? And will they ever write that book about the failed pedagogy of Hogwarts? Next week, our final episode of the series! We'll be reading Book 1, Chapter 1 through the theme of transitions. -- It’s two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollars to join our...

Duration:00:49:45

Owl Post Edition: The Importance of Re-Reading with Stephanie Paulsell

3/18/2021
This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by mentor Stephanie Paulsell to discuss why we re-read sacred texts and what we should keep in mind for starting again at Book 1. Thanks to Ali, Julianne, Scott, Melissa and anonymous for their beautiful voicemail contributions. Next week we’ll be doing a whole series wrap-up episode covering all seven books. -- It’s only two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollar to join our Patreon for extra bloopers every week! Please consider helping...

Duration:00:49:22

Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

3/11/2021
Vanessa and Casper look back at all of Season 7 and pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. They explore the path of the Malfoys throughout this book, the blooming relationship between Ron and Hermione, and what they think the fate of Slytherin House should be. Throughout the episode they explore the question: What would change if this book was called Harry Potter and the Ministry of Magic? Next week, we're doing final Owl Post episode and a conversation with...

Duration:00:45:32

Love: Nineteen Years Later (Book 7, Epilogue)

3/4/2021
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of love in the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss Casper's criticisms of boarding school, Arthur Weasley's anti-pure-blood agenda, and why everyone should be giving Neville Longbottom their love. Throughout the episode we consider the question: How is love (and trauma) passed between generations? Thanks to Ania for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re doing a wrap-up episode of Harry Potter and the Deathly...

Duration:00:50:39

Introducing: The Real Question

3/1/2021
We're reaching the end of Casper's tenure here on Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, but never fear! You can still get your Casper and Vanessa fix over on our new show, The Real Question. Our first episode is out today, and Casper and Vanessa discuss all things Tooth Fairy. After playing the Tooth Fairy for her two step-daughters, Vanessa is having doubts about the appropriateness of this supposedly silly childhood ritual. Drawing up a recent article about the Marquis de Sade and the song...

Duration:00:44:23

Hope: The Flaw in the Plan - with John Green (Book 7, Chapter 36)

2/25/2021
Vanessa and Casper are joined by John Green to explore the theme of hope in the penultimate chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss what to do with the Malfoys, what to do with Slytherin house, and how Neville finds the courage to be such hero. Throughout the episode we consider the question: is it worth it to have hope on a grand scale? Thanks to Phoebe for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading the Epilogue, Nineteen Years Later, through the theme of...

Duration:01:02:32

Trust: King's Cross (Book 7, Chapter 35)

2/18/2021
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of trust in chapter thirty-five of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss the landscape of this 'afterlife' for Harry, why Dumbledore is untrustworthy, and whether Voldemort's soul is redeemable. Throughout the episode we consider the question: is anything that happens in this chapter real? Thanks to Christine for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 36, The Flaw in the Plan, through the theme of hope with special...

Duration:00:46:19

Reunion: The Forest Again (Book 7, Chapter 34)

2/11/2021
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of reunion in chapter thirty-four of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss why Harry doesn't say goodbye to Ginny, why Harry is the natural inheritor of the Invisibility Cloak and why Hogwarts is an insufficient home for Harry. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Can we summon our lost loved ones without a resurrection stone? Thanks to Erik for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 35, King's Cross,...

Duration:00:45:53

Accompaniment: The Prince's Tale (Book 7, Chapter 33)

2/4/2021
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of accompaniment in chapter thirty-three of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss Dumbledore's solitude, Snape's courage, and an inspiring scene for Sex and the City. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Does accompaniment have to be passive? Thanks to Ingrid for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 34, The Forest Again, through the theme of reunion. -- It’s two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two...

Duration:00:51:26

Contentment: The Elder Wand (Book 7, Chapter 32)

1/28/2021
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of contentment in chapter thirty-two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss the impact of Fred’s death on the trio, Hermione’s quick thinking under pressure, and how amazing it is that Trelawney starts throwing crystal balls. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Is contentment possible after trauma? Thanks to Sam for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 33, The Prince’s Tale, through the theme of...

Duration:00:47:24

Survival: The Battle of Hogwarts (Book 7, Chapter 31) - Part 2

1/21/2021
Vanessa and Casper continue exploring the theme of survival in part two of chapter thirty-one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we discuss Ron and Hermione's big kiss, Draco Malfoy's failure of choice, and some plot holes that Vanessa found in the text. Throughout the episode we consider the question: What happens to us when part of our identity doesn't survive? Thanks to Julia for this week’s voicemail! Next week we're reading Chapter 32, The Elder Wand, through the theme...

Duration:00:47:11

Survival: The Battle of Hogwarts (Book 7, Chapter 31) - Part 1

1/14/2021
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Survival in the first half of chapter thirty-one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yes, that's right, we've split a chapter in half for the first time in our whole show history! This week we are joined by Dr. Allie Bayne from HERstory on the Rocks, who shares an opening story about sexual abuse and how she sees herself in Helena Ravenclaw. Casper and Vanessa discuss the existential experience of ghosts, the behavior of Pansy Parkinson, and...

Duration:00:53:51

Reflections on the attack on the Capitol

1/13/2021
Casper, Matt and Vanessa don't have any brilliant insights about what happened last week. So in this conversation they turn to Harry Potter and each other to try to sit in the fear and discomfort of what is happening right now as a result of Trump's facism in the US. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:11:58

Owl Post Edition: New Year's Traditions with Matt Potts

1/7/2021
This week, Vanessa and Matt discuss their own New Year's traditions and the language we use around this time of year. Thanks to Charity, Luna, TeaKay, Matías, and Zack for their beautiful voicemail contributions. Next week we’ll be reading part one of Chapter 31, The Battle of Hogwarts, through the theme of Survival. -- It’s only two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollar to join our Patreon for extra bloopers every week! Please consider helping us fill our Gringotts vault so we...

Duration:00:49:12

A Christmas Poem: Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

12/25/2020
Every Christmas, Casper likes to read us a poem. This year it's 'Ring Out, Wild Bells' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. We'll be back with our regularly scheduled episodes on January 7th. Happy Holidays! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Duration:00:05:27

Chaos: The Sacking of Severus Snape (Book 7, Chapter 30)

12/17/2020
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Chaos in chapter thirty of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (we're getting so close to the end!). This week we discuss Harry and McGonagall's use of unforgivable curses, generational differences in the fight for good, and Percy's return. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Is chaos clarifying? Thanks to Amanda for this week’s voicemail! We're taking two weeks off for the holidays, but you'll hear from us again on January 7th with an...

Duration:00:53:15

Justice: The Lost Diadem (Book 7, Chapter 29)

12/10/2020
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Justice in chapter twenty-nine of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This week we are joined by Vanessa's dear friend Amanda, who shares an opening story about a rediscovered document from her childhood. Casper and Vanessa discuss Neville's glow up, Ginny's jealousy, and the transformation of Hogwarts under the Carrow regime. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Is punishment a necessary part of justice? Thanks to Destinee for this...

Duration:01:01:59