Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text

harrypottersacredtext.com
(Re)reading Harry Potter as a sacred text


Pleasure: Hermione’s Helping Hand (Book 6, Chapter 11)
Oct 17 • 41 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of pleasure in chapter eleven of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week Casper and Vanessa discuss the ethics of Hermione confunding McLaggen, Hagrid’s fight with the trio, and Lavender’s crush on Ron.…
Don’t be a Dursley. Help us support the people on our doorstep.
Oct 14 • 2 min
The whole idea of this podcast is that we want to get ready for when tragedies happen near us. We want to make sure that if an opportunity to love a one year old, dropped off at our door were to ever happen to us, we won’t be a Dursley. Tragically, a…
Temptation: The House of Gaunt (Book 6, Chapter 10)
Oct 10 • 39 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of temptation in chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week Casper and Vanessa unpack the tragic story of Merope Gaunt, considering her abuse and the way she perpetuates it with Tom Riddle Sr.…
Owl Post Edition: Slytherin Pride with Travis McElroy
Oct 3 • 46 min
Why would anyone want to be a Slytherin? Vanessa and Casper to talk with Travis McElroy about his devotion to his Slytherin identity. They touch on the importance of pride, the difference between patriotism and nationalism, and whether we should just…
Friendship: The Half-Blood Prince (Book 6, Chapter 9)
Sep 26 • 44 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of friendship in chapter nine of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we are joined by internet super-star Gaby Dunn, who shares an opening story about a friendship break-up. Casper and Vanessa discuss…
Anxiety: Snape Victorious (Book 6, Chapter 8)
Sep 19 • 47 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of anxiety in chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we discuss Harry’s response to Snape, Hagrid’s imminent disappointment, and Ginny’s non-anxious presence. Throughout the episode we…
Glamour: The Slug Club (Book 6, Chapter 7)
Sep 12 • 45 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of glamour in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we discuss Draco’s violence, Harry’s relationship with Neville and Luna, and how the members of the Slug Club are treated. Throughout the…
Stubbornness: Draco’s Detour (Book 6, Chapter 6)
Sep 5 • 41 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of stubbornness in chapter six of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we discuss Draco’s need to be taken seriously, Molly’s fear for her children, and Ron’s eternal hope that he’s the same as Harry.…
Yearning: An Excess of Phlegm – with John Green (Book 6, Chapter 5)
Aug 29 • 53 min
CW: This week’s voicemail is about the shooting in Dayton, Ohio. If you’d rather skip it, the blessing start around 48:30. Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of yearning in chapter five of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we’re joined…
Joy: Horace Slughorn (Book 6, Chapter 4)
Aug 22 • 39 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of joy in chapter four of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we discuss Horace’s supposed ‘cowardice’, Dumbledore’s good pedagogy, and the usefulness of inappropriate jokes. Throughout the episode we…
Skepticism: Will and Won’t (Book 6, Chapter 3)
Aug 15 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Skepticism in chapter three of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This week we discuss Harry’s magical thinking, Kreacher’s humiliation, and Dumbledore’s relationship to lemon drops. Throughout the episode we…
Prudence: Spinner’s End (Book 6, Chapter 2)
Aug 8 • 44 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Prudence in chapter two of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This week we discuss Peter Pettigrew’s relationship to his hand, Narcissa and Bellatrix’s love for one another, and when to quit a job. Throughout…
Helplessness: The Other Minister (Book 6, Chapter 1)
Aug 1 • 46 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Helplessness in the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This week we discuss the election of Rufus Scrimgeour, all things related to the muggle Prime Minister, and whether Fudge is too polite…
Special Edition: What We’re Excited for in Half Blood Prince
Jul 25 • 27 min
Welcome to Season 6! This week, Vanessa and Casper get together to talk what they’re looking forward to in Half Blood Prince. They discuss the complications of Slytherin identity, Vanessa’s feelings about Ron, and Harry’s evolution from the last book.…
Season Six Trailer: Whose Hard Work Makes Your Life Possible?
Jul 18 • 3 min
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince starts next week! As is our custom, we’ve released an animated YouTube video to celebrate the start of a new season. We’re sharing the audio here, but go check out Hannah O’Neal’s amazing animations on our youtube…
Introducing: Hot & Bothered
Jul 16 • 48 min
Our new podcast, Hot & Bothered, officially launched today. We’re so proud to share our first episode with you: Justice for Dragons. This is the only episode of Hot & Bothered we’ll drop in this feed, so please go subscribe wherever you find your…
Owl Post Edition: Reclaiming Tradition with Professor Matt Potts
Jul 4 • 42 min
What does the 4th of July mean and what should it mean? It’s Independence Day in the United States and so Casper sits down again with Professor Matt Potts to talk about tradition. They touch on marriage equality, Lectio Divina, and Matt’s favorite…
Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Jun 27 • 34 min
In the final episode of season five, Vanessa and Casper pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They give Luna Lovegood her due praise, analyze Harry’s relationship to gifts, and Vanessa comes around more to the…
Love: The Second War Begins (Book 5, Chapter 38) – Live from Indianapolis with John Green
Jun 20 • 62 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “love” in the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we come to you live from our London show, where we were very lucky to be joined by John Green. We discuss Luna’s lost objects,…
Patience: The Lost Prophecy (Book 5, Chapter 37)
Jun 13 • 43 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Patience in chapter thirty-seven of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss occlumency lessons, waiting rooms, and how we feel about Dumbledore locking Harry in his office. Throughout the…
Jealousy: The Only One He Ever Feared (Book 5, Chapter 36)
Jun 6 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Jealousy in chapter thirty-six of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss our love for Dumbledore and his relationships with Voldemort, Fudge, and Harry. Throughout the episode we consider…
Blessing Minerva McGonagall
Jun 3 • 22 min
We have two special guest on this week’s episode of Women of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text - our friends from Reading Glasses Podcast, Brea Grant and Mallory O’Meara. They have chosen to bless McGonagall for being a great Boss Lady and maternal without…
Home: Beyond the Veil (Book 5, Chapter 35)
May 30 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Home in chapter thirty-five of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss the individuality of the Death Eaters, Harry’s relationship to Sirius, and the realities of war. Throughout the episode…
Concealment: The Department of Mysteries (Book 5, Chapter 34)
May 23 • 42 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Concealment in chapter thirty-four of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss Ron’s comment about the prophecy, whether Harry is fooling himself about Sirius, and the physical landscape of…
Inheritance: Fight and Flight (Book 5, Chapter 33)
May 16 • 41 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Inheritance in chapter thirty-three of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week discuss Centaurs as isolationists, Neville’s wand, and Luna’s redemption in Vanessa’s eyes. Throughout the episode we…
Redemption: Out of the Fire (Book 5, Chapter 32)
May 9 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Redemption in chapter thirty-two of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we look at a few characters and their possible arcs of redemption: Dolores Umbridge, Severus Snape, Kreacher, and Ron Weasley.…
Blessing Molly Weasley with Dr. Chloe Angyal
May 6 • 19 min
We have a special guest on this week’s episode of Women of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text - our dear friend Dr. Chloe Angyal. Chloe has chosen to bless Molly for invisible labor during this war. Vanessa invents a game about great animal moms.
Celebration: O.W.L.s (Book 5, Chapter 31)
May 2 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Celebration in chapter thirty-one of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss Ron’s victory in the quidditch match, Harry’s opportunity to show off his Patronus skills, and joy as a tool of…
Owl Post from the Apocalypse with Professor Matt Potts
Apr 25 • 42 min
Vanessa sits down with Professor Matt Potts to discuss the theology of Apocalypses. They discover that many fruitful questions come out of contemplating an Apocalypse: What makes for a good life? What am I trying to preserve? Who is my responsibility to…
Familiarity: Grawp (Book 5, Chapter 30)
Apr 18 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Familiarity in chapter thirty of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we really pick apart Hagrid’s decision to ask the kids to take care of Grawp. Throughout the episode we consider the question:…
Revenge: Career Advice (Book 5, Chapter 29)
Apr 11 • 41 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Revenge in chapter twenty-nine of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss the tension between Umbridge and Mcgonagall, the brilliance of Fred and George, and Harry’s dream to be an Auror.…
Blessing Ginny Weasley
Apr 8 • 21 min
It’s Vanessa’s turn to bless a female character of Harry Potter, and she’s chosen to bless Ginny for her trauma at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Ariana invents a game about youngest members of famous groups.
Entitlement: Snape’s Worst Memory (Book 5, Chapter 28) — Live from San Francisco, CA
Apr 4 • 56 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “entitlement” in chapter 28 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we come to you live from our San Francisco show. We discuss Umbridge’s relationship to her own authority, Snape’s shame over…
Hate: The Centaur and the Sneak (Book 5, Chapter 27)
Mar 28 • 41 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Hate in chapter twenty-seven of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss Umbridge’s hate of non-human creatures, Harry’s relationship to Draco, and Dobby’s attempts at self-harm. Throughout…
Blessing Luna Lovegood
Mar 25 • 21 min
It’s Ariana’s turn to bless a female character of Harry Potter, and she’s chosen to bless Luna Lovegood for changing her mind about Ron. Vanessa invents a game about aptronyms (which means names that are well-suited to their bearers).
Obligation: Seen and Unforseen (Book 5, Chapter 26)
Mar 21 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Obligation in chapter twenty-six of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week, Vanessa starts to feel bad for Harry in his Occlumency lessons, Casper talks about the best and worst moments in his…
Defiance: The Beetle at Bay (Book 5, Chapter 25)
Mar 14 • 41 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Defiance in chapter twenty-five of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss Hermione’s manipulation of Rita, Neville’s embrace of the DA, and Cho’s disappointment in Harry. Throughout the episode they…
Blessing Madam Pomfrey
Mar 11 • 21 min
It’s Vanessa’s turn to bless a female character of Harry Potter, and she’s chosen to bless Madam Pomfrey for her invisible labor. Ariana invents a game about woman doctors in America. NB: Ariana’s ‘fact’ about disneyland is, of course, an urban legend.…
Curiosity: Occlumency (Book 5, Chapter 24)
Mar 7 • 38 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Curiosity in chapter twenty-four of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They really zoom in on the Harry/Snape dynamic in this chapter: discussing the first Occlumency lesson, examining Snape’s motivations,…
Control: Christmas on the Closed Ward (Book 5, Chapter 23)
Feb 28 • 48 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Control in chapter twenty-three of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss Molly’s anxiety over Arthur, Neville’s relationship with his grandmother, and poor sad Professor Lockhart. Throughout the…
Blessing Professor Trelawney
Feb 25 • 19 min
It’s Ariana’s turn to bless a female character of Harry Potter, and she’s chosen to bless Professor Trelawney for her mentorship. Vanessa invents a game about Nostradamus.
Distance: St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries (Book 5, Chapter 22)
Feb 21 • 39 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Distance in chapter twenty-two of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss the fabulous headmaster portraits in Dumbledore’s office, Dumbledore’s love for Harry, and how Harry cleverly changes his…
Honesty: The Eye of the Snake (Book 5, Chapter 21)
Feb 14 • 47 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Honesty in chapter twenty-one of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Nora McInerny, the host of one of our favorite podcasts: Terrible, Thanks for Asking. We…
Blessing Fleur
Feb 11 • 21 min
We’re trying something new! Every other week, Vanessa and Ariana are going to sit down to bless a female character of Harry Potter. We’re calling the segment “Women of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.” This week, Vanessa blesses Fleur Delacour.
Owl Post and Other Journeys with Professor Stephanie Paulsell
Feb 7 • 39 min
Inspired by last week’s chapter, Vanessa sits down with our mentor, Professor Stephanie Paulsell, to learn more about the theology of pilgrimages. They discuss the Japanese poet Bashō, their own Virginia Woolf pilgrimage, and Hagrid’s journey to the…
Peace: Hagrid’s Tale (Book 5, Chapter 20)
Jan 31 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Peace in chapter twenty of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss wizard/giant relations, analyze Umbridge’s intimidation strategy, and compare The Second Wizarding War to World War I. Throughout…
Distraction: The Lion and the Serpent (Book 5, Chapter 19)
Jan 24 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Distraction in chapter nineteen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss Hermione’s brilliant DA galleon, Run’s crush on Hermione (who could blame him?), and Vanessa’s continued distain for the…
Failure: Dumbledore’s Army (Book 5, Chapter 18) — Live from Cambridge, MA
Jan 17 • 61 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “failure” in chapter 18 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we come to you live from our Cambridge show. We discuss whether Angela Johnson fails as a quidditch caption, what Hermione learns from…
Supremacy: Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four (Book 5, Chapter 17)
Jan 10 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Supremacy in chapter seventeen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss Angelina Johnson’s prophetic position, how The Patriarchy shapes the actual building of Hogwarts, and the enduring grace of…
New Podcast Network Announcement!
Jan 3 • 3 min
A few months ago we learned that our podcast network was shutting down. You may remember we made a panicked announcement in the feed, unsure of whether we could continue the show. Today, we’re back with a much happier announcement. Spoiler alert: Harry…
Respite: In the Hog’s Head (Book 5, Chapter 16)
Dec 20, 2018 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Respite in chapter sixteen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss Aberforth living in Dumbledore’s shadow, Ron wanting to step out of his prefect roll, and Harry needing a break from his trauma.…
Healing: The Hogwarts High Inquisitor (Book 5, Chapter 15)
Dec 13, 2018 • 38 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Healing in chapter fifteen of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Artie Wu, the founder of Preside Meditation and a dear friend of Casper’s. We discuss Umbridge’s…
Boundaries: Percy and Padfoot (Book 5, Chapter 14)
Dec 6, 2018 • 39 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Boundaries in chapter fourteen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss the chemistry between Harry and Cho Chang, Sirius’s wise thoughts on Umbridge, and Pansy Parkinson’s racist comment.…
Obsession: Detention with Dolores (Book 5, Chapter 13)
Nov 29, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Obsession in chapter thirteen of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, we discuss Hermione’s House Elf activism, Umbridge’s thirst for power, and Harry’s love of Quidditch. Our question this week…
Pride: Professor Umbridge (Book 5, Chapter 12)
Nov 22, 2018 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Pride in chapter twelve of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, we discuss the different political strategies of Umbridge, Hermione, Parvati, and Harry in this chapter. Our question this week is:…
Special Edition: Q&A with Producer Ariana + New Hot and Bothered Trailer
Nov 15, 2018 • 31 min
Hi everyone! Bad news: The file for this week’s episode got corrupted (probably by Voldemort). Unfortunately, Vanessa had minor surgery this week (she’s recovering well!) and Casper’s off in a monastery, so that only left one person to record something…
Dread: The Sorting Hat’s New Song (Book 5, Chapter 11)
Nov 8, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Dread in chapter eleven of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, we discuss Hermione’s insight into Umbridge, Harry and Seamus’ big fight, and the content of The Sorting Hat’s New Song (surprise!).…
Halloween Edition: On Witches and Brett Kavanaugh
Nov 1, 2018 • 42 min
Casper is out sick, so Vanessa is taking over our owl post episode this week. We talk Brett Kavanaugh and answer voicemails about his hearing, Voldemort’s name, Advent and marginalia. Vanessa also has the opportunity to chat with Dr. Lynne Gerber, a…
Humility: Luna Lovegood (Book 5, Chapter 10)
Oct 25, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Humility in chapter ten of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, we talk about Luna’s truth-telling, Neville’s nerdiness and Ron and Hermione’s different approaches to being prefects. Our question…
Will Power: The Woes of Mrs Weasley (Book 5, Chapter 9)
Oct 18, 2018 • 36 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Will Power in chapter nine of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, we continue to obsess about Percy Weasley, congratulate Ron on his grace around being Head Boy, and very much want to punch…
Partnership: The Hearing (Book 5, Chapter 8)
Oct 11, 2018 • 44 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Partnership in chapter eight of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Lauren Taylor, co-author of The American Healthcare Paradox and fellow Harvard Divinity School…
Progress: The Ministry of Magic (Book 5, Chapter 7)
Oct 4, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of “Progress” in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss whether owls are an obsolete technology, The Fountain of Magical Brethren, and the power of Mamma Mia. Our question this…
Memory: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (Book 5, Chapter 6)
Sep 27, 2018 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of “memory” in chapter six of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” This week we discuss Kreacher’s institutional memory, Sirius’s family tapestry, and whether or not you should cut an ex out of a photo. Our…
Gratitude: The Order of the Phoenix (Book 5, Chapter 5)
Sep 20, 2018 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of “gratitude” in chapter five of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” This week we discuss Mundugus Fletcher’s apology, Molly Weasley’s protectiveness, and the memory of James Potter. Our question this week…
Anger: Number Twelve Grimmauld Place (Book 5, Chapter 4)
Sep 13, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of “Anger” in chapter four of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” This week we discuss Percy’s betrayal, Ginny’s coolness, and how badly Harry is treating his friends. Our question this week is: Is anger ever…
Compassion: The Advance Guard (Book 5, Chapter 3)
Sep 6, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper return to the theme of “compassion” in chapter three of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” This week we discuss Tonk’s hair, Moody’s eyeball, and how Harry really needs a meditation practice. Our question this week is: How do…
Frustration: A Peck of Owls (Book 5, Chapter 2)
Aug 30, 2018 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper return to the theme of “frustration” in chapter two of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” This week we discuss the psychology of Mundungus Fletcher, the heroism of Mrs. Figg, and Dudley’s crumbling sense of his own supremacy.…
Belief: Dudley Demented (Book 5, Chapter 1)
Aug 23, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper dive into Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with the theme of belief. They discuss the breakdown of trust between Harry and the Dursleys, between Harry and his friends, and Harry and himself. Throughout the episode they consider…
Special Edition: What We’re Excited for in Order of the Phoenix
Aug 9, 2018 • 19 min
Season 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, launches on August 23rd. Vanessa and Casper get together to talk what they’re looking forward to in Order of the Phoenix and share our season 5 trailer about Dolores Umbridge.
Special Edition: Owl Post with Professor Stephanie Paulsell
Jul 26, 2018 • 33 min
In our last episode of season four, we catch up on some owl post with Stephanie Paulsell. We hear from Angela Hronek, Michelle Solomon, Jaxn Hill, Margaret Cooney and an anonymous caller. Inspired by our callers, Stephanie and Vanessa discuss embodiment,…
Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Jul 19, 2018 • 29 min
In the final episode of season four, Vanessa and Casper pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They take some time to talk about Harry Potter himself, reflect on Cedric’s death, and dissect the role of the Goblet of Fire…
Love: The Beginning (Book 4, Chapter 37) — Live from London
Jul 12, 2018 • 57 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “love” in the final chapter of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we come to you live from our London show. We discuss the grief and generosity of Cedric’s parents, the false promise of the Triwizard…
Disillusionment: The Parting of the Ways (Book 4, Chapter 36)
Jul 5, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “disillusionment” in chapter thirty-six of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Snape’s bravery in revealing his dark mark, Molly’s clarity of purpose in taking care of Harry, and the way…
Betrayal: Veritaserum (Book 4, Chapter 35)
Jun 28, 2018 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “betrayal” in chapter thirty-five of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Neville and Harry’s friendship, poor Winky and her grief in this chapter, and why villains are prone to monologuing.…
Grief: Priori Incantatem (Book 4, Chapter 34)
Jun 21, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “grief” in chapter thirty-four of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Professor Matt Potts, a beloved mentor from Harvard Divinity School. In the episode, we discuss…
Necessity: The Death Eaters (Book 4, Chapter 33)
Jun 14, 2018 • 30 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “necessity” in chapter thirty-three of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we get into Voldemort’s psychology, take pity on Wormtail, and discuss the human instinct towards survival. Our question this…
Waste: Flesh, Blood, and Bone (Book 4, Chapter 32)
Jun 7, 2018 • 29 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “waste” in chapter thirty-two of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss the most chilling scene, in perhaps the whole series - that of Cedric’s death. Our question this week is: how do we keep…
Kindness: The Third Task (Book 4, Chapter 31)
May 31, 2018 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “kindness” in chapter thirty-one of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Bill’s generous questions, Molly’s coldness to Hermione, and the need for self-care. Our question this week is: how…
Special Edition: Owl Post and Rabbi Scott Perlo (Again!)
May 24, 2018 • 35 min
Vanessa is still recovering from her surgery, so Casper is taking over our owl post episode this week. We hear from listeners Lóre Stevens, Kate McManus, Talya Sarna and Eva Resnick-Day. Lóre and Kate respond to Casper’s question about the importance of…
Comfort: The Pensieve (Book 4, Chapter 30)
May 17, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “comfort” in chapter thirty of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Bellatrix’s fanaticism, how the pensieve is a model for virtual reality, and why Dumbledore reveals certain information to…
Chance: The Dream (Book 4, Chapter 29)
May 10, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “chance” in chapter twenty-nine of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Melissa Anelli, host of Pottercast and author of Harry, A History. In the episode, we discuss…
Inspiration: The Madness of Mr. Crouch — With John Green (Book 4, Chapter 28)
May 3, 2018 • 48 min
Vanessa and Casper and special guest, John Green, explore the theme of “inspiration” in chapter twenty-eight of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. They discuss fainting in public, Dobby’s humanity, and some of the sadness of parenthood. Throughout the…
Corruption: Padfoot Returns (Book 4, Chapter 27)
Apr 26, 2018 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “corruption” in chapter twenty-seven of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Barty Crouch’s governing tactics, praise Hermione for her bravery, and have a debate about one of the most quotable…
Loyalty: The Second Task (Book 4, Chapter 26) – Live from Minneapolis
Apr 19, 2018 • 69 min
For the first time on the podcast, we’re bringing you your weekly episode from one of our live shows! Live from Minneapolis, Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “loyalty” in chapter twenty-six of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we…
Preciousness: The Egg and the Eye (Book 4, Chapter 25)
Apr 12, 2018 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “preciousness” in chapter twenty-five of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Moaning Myrtle’s voyeurism, Harry’s fatal flaws, and Mad Eye Moody’s good luck. Our question this week is: How do…
Integrity: Rita Skeeter’s Scoop (Book 4, Chapter 24)
Apr 5, 2018 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “integrity” in chapter twenty-four of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Professor Grubbly-Plank’s unicorn, Hagrid’s doom spiral, and Fleur’s disadvantage in the second task. Our question…
Guilt: The Yule Ball (Book 4, Chapter 23)
Mar 29, 2018 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “guilt” in chapter twenty-three of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Viktor Krum’s classiness, Dobby’s love of languages, and the pervasiveness of gift-giving in our culture. Our question…
Special Edition: Extended Conversation with Gretchen Rubin
Mar 23, 2018 • 18 min
We could only include a few minutes of Vanessa’s conversation with Gretchen Rubin into the main episode this week, but we wanted to share an extended cut of their interview. Hear Vanessa and Gretchen nerd out about this week’s chapter and learn more about…
Happiness: The Unexpected Task (Book 4, Chapter 22)
Mar 22, 2018 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Happiness in chapter twenty-two of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Gretchen Rubin, host of Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen tells our opening story, sharing from…
Faith: The House-Elf Liberation Front (Book 4, Chapter 21)
Mar 15, 2018 • 29 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “faith” in chapter twenty-one of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Vanessa’s first celebrity crush, the separation of church and state in the US, and the internalized oppression of…
Opportunity: The First Task (Book 4, Chapter 20)
Mar 8, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “opportunity” in chapter twenty of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Cedric’s wholeness, Harry’s brokenness, and what Vanessa thinks about “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Our question this week is:…
Delight: The Hungarian Horntail (Book 4, Chapter 19)
Mar 1, 2018 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “delight” in chapter nineteen of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Harry’s vulnerability with Sirius, Charlie’s love of Hagrid, and Madame Maxime’s potential manipulation. Our question this…
Special Edition: Owl Post and Broderick Greer
Feb 22, 2018 • 34 min
Vanessa is sick today, so Casper is taking over our much-anticipated “owl” themed owl post. We hear from listeners Stefanie French, Ali Ribe, Camille Knox and Sophie Ralph. Casper also has the opportunity to learn a new spiritual practice, Marginalia,…
Glory: The Weighing of the Wands (Book 4, Chapter 18)
Feb 15, 2018 • 30 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of “glory” in chapter eighteen of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Draco’s “Potter Stinks” badges, Hermione’s toast, and Snape’s empty threats. Our question this week is: Does glory require…
Unity: The Four Champions (Book 4, Chapter 17)
Feb 9, 2018 • 34 min
Note: We discuss sexual assault and suicidal ideation in this episode. If these topics are something you want to avoid, we understand. Here’s a funny picture of a walrus to hold you over until next week. Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of, “unity” in…
Resentment: The Goblet of Fire (Book 4, Chapter 16)
Feb 1, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of, “resentment” in chapter sixteen of, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” This week we discuss Hermione’s jealousy, Hagrid’s hypocrisy, and Dumbledore’s hospitality. Our question this week is: whose responsibility…
Trauma: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang (Book 4, Chapter 15)
Jan 25, 2018 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of trauma in chapter fifteen of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week we discuss returning home, acknowledging pain, and the BAMF known as Madame Maxime. Our question this week is: how do you integrate trauma…
Transformation: The Unforgiveable Curses (Book 4, Chapter 14)
Jan 18, 2018 • 47 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of transformation in chapter fourteen of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, our opening story is told by Mike McHargue, host of Ask Science Mike and The Liturgists. We discuss the ways that Neville as like…
Judgment: Mad-Eye Moody (Book 4, Chapter 13)
Jan 11, 2018 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of judgement in chapter thirteen of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week we discuss blind love, alcoholism at Hogwarts, and why we all take such joy in Draco being turned into a ferret. Our question this week…
Excitement: The Triwizard Tournament (Book 4, Chapter 12)
Jan 4, 2018 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of excitement in chapter twelve of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, we admire the Creevey brothers, interrogate Harry’s blasé attitude, and wonder what Barty Crouch Jr. must be feeling. Our question this…
Special Edition: Puffs + T-Shirt Contest Winner!
Dec 28, 2017 • 14 min
Vanessa and Ariana took a train down to New York to see the off-broadway play, Puffs. Here’s the show in their own words: “For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is…
A Christmas Poem: Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
Dec 25, 2017 • 2 min
Here’s a little treat from Casper. You can find the poem in Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl. Happy Holidays!
Special Edition: Owl Post and Marya Bangee
Dec 21, 2017 • 39 min
It’s time for our first round of owl posts for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! We hear your thoughts about stigma, the S.P.E.W. campaign, Fred and George’s resilience, obliviation, and Hermione’s muggle knowledge. Thanks so much to Angela Higginson,…
Play: Aboard the Hogwarts Express (Book 4, Chapter 11)
Dec 14, 2017 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of play in chapter eleven of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, we discuss Queen Victoria, how defense against the dark arts is like sex education, and why it’s okay to be rude behind closed doors. Our…
Promises: Mayhem at the Ministry (Book 4, Chapter 10)
Dec 7, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper revisit the theme of promises in chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, we discuss whether Rita Skeeter is a good journalist, Arthur Weasley’s work at the ministry, and shifting familial roles. Our question this…
Grudges: The Dark Mark (Book 4, Chapter 9)
Nov 30, 2017 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of grudges in chapter nine of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, we continue our discussion about Veelas and sexism, look at the connection between the personal and the political, and celebrate Hermione’s…
Fandom: The Quidditch World Cup (Book 4, Chapter 8)
Nov 23, 2017 • 39 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of fandom in chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, our opening story is told by Kevin T. Porter, host of Gilmore Guys and Good Christian Fun. We discuss Veeela, nationalism, and Krum’s…
Beauty: Bagman and Crouch (Book 4, Chapter 7)
Nov 16, 2017 • 29 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of beauty in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, we discuss Mr. Weasley’s exoticization of muggles, Harry’s generosity towards Ron, and why Fred and George gamble their whole life savings.…
Acceptance: The Portkey (Book 4, Chapter 6)
Nov 9, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of acceptance in chapter six of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, Vanessa and Casper discuss different parent/child relationships as they manifest in Amos and Cedric Diggory and The Weasleys. Our question…
Masculinity: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes (Book 4, Chapter 5)
Nov 2, 2017 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Masculinity in chapter five of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, Vanessa and Casper discuss Ron’s love of quidditch, Bill’s gender performance, and Mr. Weasley’s Oedipal conflict. Our question this…
Mystery: Back to the Burrow (Book 4, Chapter 4)
Oct 26, 2017 • 50 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Mystery in chapter four of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Zach Kerzee, the founding pastor of Simple Church. Zach tells our opening story, shares from his experience…
Awareness: The Invitation (Book 4, Chapter 3)
Oct 19, 2017 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Awareness in chapter three of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, Vanessa and Casper talk about Dudley’s weight problems, Molly Weasley’s perfect letter to the Dursleys, and why Muggles can’t go to The…
Destruction: The Scar (Book 4, Chapter 2)
Oct 12, 2017 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of destruction in chapter two of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This week, Vanessa and Casper negotiate their different theological perspectives, discuss the nature of confidentiality, and celebrate a non-present…
Instinct: The Riddle House (Book 4, Chapter 1)
Oct 5, 2017 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper dive into Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with The Riddle House - perhaps one of the most incongruous chapter in the the whole Harry Potter series. They discuss Frank’s PTSD, Nagini’s anatomy, and how Voldemort is just a big baby.…
Trust: Cat, Rat and Dog (Book 3, Chapter 17) — Live from Washington, DC
Sep 19, 2017 • 79 min
Thank you so much to everyone who came out for our tour this summer and made it such a success! Here’s the audio from our DC show, with special guest Scott Perlo. For our East Coast tour, we read Prisoner of Azkaban chapter 17, Cat, Rat and Dog, through…
Special Edition: Owl Post and Sejal Patel
Sep 12, 2017 • 32 min
In our final episode of Season 3, we have a chance to sit down with lawyer and fellow divinity school graduate, Sejal Patel. She chats with us about justice, Hinduism, and the Niebuhr brothers. We also do a last round of owl posts for Harry Potter and the…
Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Sep 5, 2017 • 42 min
In the final episode of season three, Vanessa and Casper pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They take some time to talk about Harry Potter himself, reflect on Voldemort’s absence, and compare Draco to a young white…
Love: Owl Post Again (Book 3, Chapter 22)
Aug 29, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of love in the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is our third time discussing love of the podcast, but we still have so many questions: Where does overwhelming love come from? Should we…
Crisis: Hermione’s Secret (Book 3, Chapter 21)
Aug 22, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of crisis in chapter twenty-one of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss Snape’s existential crisis, Dumbledore’s rebellious streak, and Madame Pomfrey’s delicious boulder of chocolate.…
Charlottesville: Call it what it is
Aug 16, 2017 • 2 min
Today was our first day back in the studio after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend. We wanted to share a few thoughts from the team. You can access the Charlottesville Syllabus that Casper mentions here. We’ve also put…
Justice: The Dementors’ Kiss (Book 3, Chapter 20)
Aug 15, 2017 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Justice in chapter twenty of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss justice in all its forms: poetic, divine, restorative and insufficient. Throughout the episode they consider the…
Forgiveness: Owl Post with Professor Stephanie Paulsell
Aug 8, 2017 • 36 min
This week, Casper’s out of town so Vanessa sits down with Stephanie Paulsell, Professor of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School, to talk forgiveness and answer some owl post. Our regular scheduled programing will be back next week with Chapter 20,…
Mercy: The Servant of Lord Voldemort (Book 3, Chapter 19)
Aug 1, 2017 • 38 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of mercy in chapter nineteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss Snape’s dual identity, Pettigrew’s shrewd manipulations, and the legacy of Lily and James Potter. Throughout the episode…
Isolation: Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs (Book 3, Chapter 18)
Jul 25, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of isolation in chapter eighteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they pity Peter Pettigrew, wonder about The Whomping Willow and solve the problem of suffering. (Just kidding on that last one.)…
Innocence: Cat, Rat and Dog (Book 3, Chapter 17)
Jul 20, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of innocence in chapter seventeen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They bemoan how the criminal justice system has betrayed Sirius Black, discuss Ron’s prejudice again werewolves, and try and come up with a…
Wonder: Professor Trelawney’s Prediction (Book 3, Chapter 16)
Jul 11, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of wonder in chapter sixteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss flobberworms, how Divination class is like divinity school, and why Professor Trelawney doesn’t believe in her own…
Pain: The Quidditch Final (Book 3, Chapter 15)
Jul 4, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of pain in chapter fifteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss Casper’s beautiful teeth, Vanessa’s dislike of Hogwarts houses, and why Professor Trelawney is a better teacher than we…
Imagination: Snape’s Grudge (Book 3, Chapter 14)
Jun 27, 2017 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of imagination in chapter fourteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, in some major reversals, Vanessa expresses concern for Snape and Casper blesses Hermione. They also discuss babies, puppies,…
Rivalry: Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw — With Hank Green (Book 3, Chapter 13)
Jun 20, 2017 • 30 min
Vanessa and Casper and special guest, Hank Green, explore the theme of Rivalry in chapter thirteen of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They discuss the difference between bullies and rivals, the delight of new babies, and why Cho Chang is a great…
Optimism: The Patronus (Book 3, Chapter 12)
Jun 13, 2017 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of optimism in chapter twelve of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, Casper tells a story about climate activism, Vanessa tries to puzzle out how boggarts work, and together they take a close look at…
Duty: The Firebolt — With Father Jim Martin (Book 3, Chapter 11)
Jun 6, 2017 • 46 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of duty in chapter eleven of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss Hermione’s selflessness, Hagrid’s traumatic experience in Azkaban, and McGonagall’s harsh take-down of Trelawney at…
Escape: The Marauder’s Map (Book 3, Chapter 10)
May 30, 2017 • 40 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of escape in chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss whether we can have sympathy for dementors, Casper’s college crush, and the toxic ideas that haunt us. Throughout the…
Frustration: Grim Defeat (Book 3, Chapter 9)
May 23, 2017 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of frustration in chapter nine of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This week, they discuss latin etymology, quote Macbeth, and critique Snape’s class design. They also talk about fun things like Sir Cadogan…
[Explicit] Extra! Extra!: Blooper Reel
May 19, 2017 • 5 min
This is not a real episode! It’s a reel episode. (Groan.) Ariana made this little blooper reel for some of the Crowdfunder backers, but we thought it would be nice to share it with everyone. It’s Ariana’s mom’s birthday today, and it’s a beautiful Friday…
Desperation: Flight of the Fat Lady (Book 3, Chapter 8)
May 16, 2017 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of desperation in chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They discuss the credibility of divination, the intensity of Oliver Wood’s quidditch passion, and whether Harry’s need to go to Hogsmeade is…
Special Edition: Extended Conversation with Chloe Angyal
May 9, 2017 • 13 min
We could only include a few minutes of Vanessa’s conversation with Chloe into the main episode this week, but we wanted to share an extended cut of their interview. Hear Chloe talk more about humorous responses to internet trolls and the toll they can…
Humor: The Boggart in the Wardrobe (Book 3, Chapter 7)
May 9, 2017 • 37 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of humor in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.They discuss the power of Satire, the absurdity of neck ties, and why Parvati is afraid of mummies. Throughout the episode they consider the…
Forgiveness: Talons and Tea Leaves (Book 3, Chapter 6)
May 2, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of forgiveness in chapter six of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They discuss the difference between humility and self loathing, Hagrid’s metaphorical baptism, and instances of national atonement. Throughout…
Foresight: The Dementor (Book 3, Chapter 5)
Apr 25, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of foresight in chapter five of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They discuss the magical properties of chocolate, Harry and Ginny’s romantic potential, and whether we should try and preserve the innocence of…
Hospitality: The Leaky Cauldron (Book 3, Chapter 4)
Apr 18, 2017 • 38 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of hospitality in chapter four of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They consider the ways in which Hermione is diplomatic, do the Jewish practice of PaRDeS for the first time on their own, and grudgingly admit…
Special Edition: Extended Conversation with Jackson Bird from the Harry Potter Alliance
Apr 11, 2017 • 14 min
We could only include a few minutes of Casper’s conversation with Jackson Bird into the main episode this week, but it was so lovely that we thought it was important to share it all. So here’s an extended cut! Hear Jackson talk more about the Harry Potter…
Secrets: The Knight Bus (Book 3, Chapter 3)
Apr 11, 2017 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of secrets in chapter three of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They discuss the sketchiness of Cornelius Fudge, throw some shade at Stanley Shunpike and contemplate the role of socio-economic status in the…
Family: Aunt Marge’s Big Mistake (Book 3, Chapter 2)
Apr 4, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of family in chapter two of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They discuss why Vanessa loves her dog so much, the age old question of nature vs. nurture, and the muggle magic of alcohol. Throughout the episode…
Mercy: Owl Post (Book 3, Chapter 1)
Mar 28, 2017 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper dive into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with the theme of mercy. They discuss Ron’s difficulty with telephones, Errol the owl, and return to the spiritual practice of Florilegia. Throughout the episode they consider the…
Special Edition: The Live Show
Mar 14, 2017 • 70 min
For those who couldn’t make it to our live show back in January, here’ s a little taste of all the fun we had! The audio quality is not ideal, but you still can get a sense for what it was like to be in the room. If all goes well, we’ll be coming to a…
Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Mar 7, 2017 • 36 min
In the final episode of season two, Vanessa and Casper pull out a few key insights from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They evaluate the evolution of Harry’s character, compare Lockhart to a Shakespearean protagonist, and talk about the…
Special Edition: Owl Post and Rabbi Scott Perlo
Feb 28, 2017 • 41 min
In our penultimate episode of season two, we hear from listeners Christina Richardson, Margaret, Meaghan Crowley, and Abigail Morris. Vanessa and Casper also have the opportunity to learn a new spiritual practice, PaRDeS, from the charming and wise Rabbi…
Love: Dobby’s Reward (Book 2, Chapter 18)
Feb 21, 2017 • 46 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of love in the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Together they discuss the connection between love, memory, suffering, and why parents take their babies to the zoo. They are joined by special…
Heartbreak: The Heir of Slytherin (Book 2, Chapter 17)
Feb 14, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of heartbreak in chapter seventeen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss practical jokes, juvenile delinquency, and the symbolism of Fawkes’ tears. Throughout the episode they consider the question:…
Grace: The Chamber of Secrets (Book 2, Chapter 16)
Feb 7, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of grace in chapter sixteen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss the power of gratitude, the difference between the desolation of Moaning Myrtle and Ginny Weasley, and Vanessa’s admiration of Johnny…
Sanctuary: Aragog (Book 2, Chapter 15)
Jan 31, 2017 • 27 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of sanctuary in chapter fifteen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss the power of silence, how Hagrid is a priest-like figure, and why spiders are so afraid of the Basilisk. Throughout the episode…
Loyalty: Cornelius Fudge (Book 2, Chapter 14)
Jan 24, 2017 • 28 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of loyalty in chapter fourteen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Hagrid and Dumbledore’s mutual admiration, how to navigate multiple responsibilities, and why Cornelius Fudge is a poor…
Cowardice: The Very Secret Diary (Book 2, Chapter 13)
Jan 17, 2017 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of cowardice in chapter thirteen of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss hate crimes, the psychology of murderers, and secret admirers. Throughout the episode they consider the question: What is the…
Belonging: The Polyjuice Potion (Book 2, Chapter 12)
Jan 10, 2017 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of belonging in chapter twelve of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss magical portraits, the metaphor of the phoenix, and Vanessa’s distrust of optometry. Throughout the episode they consider the…
Excellence: The Dueling Club (Book 2, Chapter 11)
Jan 3, 2017 • 31 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of excellence in chapter eleven of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Harry’s proficiency with Parseltongue, Ernie McMillan’s authority within the Hufflepuffs, and Vanessa’s esteem of Lebron James.…
Complaining: The Rogue Bludger (Book 2, Chapter 10)
Dec 27, 2016 • 28 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of complaining in chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Madam Hooch’s negligence during the quidditch match, Lockhart’s toxic masculinity, and Colin Creevey’s surprising thoughtfulness.…
Innocence: The Writing on the Wall (Book 2, Chapter 9)
Dec 20, 2016 • 28 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of complaining in chapter ten of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Madame Hooch’s negligence during the quidditch match, Lockhart’s toxic masculinity, and Colin Creevey’s surprising thoughtfulness.…
Rumors: The Deathday Party (Book 2, Chapter 8)
Dec 13, 2016 • 34 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of rumors in chapter eight of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss the difference between rumors and propaganda, whether Nearly Headless Nick should be allowed in the headless hunt, and how they would…
Confusion: Mudbloods and Murmurs (Book 2, Chapter 7)
Dec 6, 2016 • 32 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of confusion in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Hagrid’s magical umbrella, the usefulness of mantras, and what the ‘mudblood’ incident can help us understand about systemic…
Attraction: Gilderoy Lockhart (Book 2, Chapter 6)
Nov 29, 2016 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of attraction in chapter six of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss their schoolyard crushes, Ron’s malfunctioning wand, and a metaphorical interpretation of the mandrake plant. Throughout the episode…
Special Edition: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Spoiler Warning!)
Nov 28, 2016 • 12 min
After seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Vanessa and Casper discuss their impressions and share their favorite moments from the film.
Responsibility: The Whomping Willow (Book 2, Chapter 5)
Nov 22, 2016 • 38 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of responsibility in chapter five of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Dobby’s constant meddling, Snape’s connection with the Whomping Willow, and whether it’s okay to bless the Dursleys. Throughout…
Shame: At Flourish and Blotts (Book 2, Chapter 4)
Nov 15, 2016 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of shame in chapter four of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Harry’s generosity, the difference between teasing and criticism, and whether there’s anything to admire about Gilderoy Lockhart.…
A Brief Post-Election Note
Nov 14, 2016 • 0 min
Hi friends, we hope you’re taking care of yourselves. We offer you this reading from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Curiosity: The Burrow (Book 2, Chapter 3)
Nov 8, 2016 • 36 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of curiosity in chapter three of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss Arthur Weasley’s enthusiasm for muggles, the moral implications of de-gnoming, and the alluring appeal of RuPaul’s Drag Race.…
Control: Dobby’s Warning (Book 2, Chapter 2)
Nov 1, 2016 • 35 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of control in the second chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss the bureaucratic power of the Ministry of Magic, the benefit of Harry’s deep curiosity, and the endless frustrations of IKEA…
Disappointment: The Worst Birthday (Book 2, Chapter 1)
Oct 25, 2016 • 33 min
Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of disappointment in the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They discuss homesickness and why returning home sometimes brings out the worst in us, acknowledge Petunia’s domestic labor, and return…
Special Edition: Owl Post and Professor Stephanie Paulsell
Oct 1, 2016 • 26 min
In our last episode of season one, we hear from a few more listeners and have a meta-conversation about the podcast itself. Vanessa and Casper also have the opportunity to chat with Professor Stephanie Paulsell, with whom they developed this project at…
Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Sep 24, 2016 • 22 min
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…
Love: The Man with Two Faces (Book 1, Chapter 17)
Sep 17, 2016 • 25 min
**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…
Destiny: Through the Trapdoor (Book 1, Chapter 16)
Sep 10, 2016 • 24 min
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…
Regret: The Forbidden Forest (Book 1, Chapter 15)
Sep 3, 2016 • 25 min
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.…
Rebellion: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback (Book 1, Chapter 14)
Aug 28, 2016 • 23 min
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…
Special Edition: Catching up on the Owl Post
Aug 20, 2016 • 26 min
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…
Hope: Nicolas Flamel (Book 1, Chapter 13)
Aug 13, 2016 • 25 min
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.
White Privilege: The Mirror of Erised (Book 1, Chapter 12)
Aug 6, 2016 • 24 min
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…
Goals: Quidditch (Book 1, Chapter 11)
Jul 30, 2016 • 25 min
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…
Friendship: Halloween (Book 1, Chapter 10)
Jul 23, 2016 • 30 min
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…
Betrayal: The Midnight Duel (Book 1, Chapter 9)
Jul 15, 2016 • 27 min
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.
Promises: The Potions Master (Book 1, Chapter 8)
Jul 8, 2016 • 28 min
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.
Vulnerability: The Sorting Hat (Book 1, Chapter 7)
Jul 2, 2016 • 26 min
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…
Expectations: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters (Book 1, Chapter 6)
Jun 24, 2016 • 25 min
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…
Being a Stranger: Diagon Alley (Book 1, Chapter 5)
Jun 17, 2016 • 28 min
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.
Generosity: The Keeper of the Keys (Book 1, Chapter 4)
Jun 10, 2016 • 25 min
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.
Fear: The Letters From No One (Book 1, Chapter 3)
Jun 3, 2016 • 26 min
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.
Loneliness: The Vanishing Glass (Book 1, Chapter 2)
May 27, 2016 • 30 min
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,…
Commitment: The Boy Who Lived (Book 1, Chapter 1)
May 19, 2016 • 25 min
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.