JK Rowling talks religion, theme of Death, and swearing in ‘Casual Vacancy’

In promotion of her new book, J.K. Rowling was interviewed yesterday at the Southbank Centre in London. The program was live streamed as thousands of readers around the world picked up “The Casual Vacancy” for the first time.

Courtesy of redcarpetnewstv.com, a full transcript can be found here.

Most of the interview covered Jo’s reactions to critical reception of “The Casual Vacancy” but there were a few bits of conversation that had a great deal to do with Potter.

Do you have sympathy for religion yourself?
Yes, though clearly I say that as someone who’s had my run-ins with Christian fundamentalists. It does amuse me because people have told me I’m so brave to tackling these subjects with Casual Vacancy. But I was thinking… I’ve had my books burnt! I wrote this cheery little book about wizards that I thought was so moral and it caused all this trouble. So I’ve got quite a way to go with to upset people as much with The Casual Vacancy. Very seriously I wouldn’t want to push the Christian metaphor associated with Harry Potter too far, because Harry was never supposed to be Christ! But it’s absolutely right to say there is Christian symbolism in the book.

Harry Potter’s fans and scholars are split about the thematic function of religion in the book series, but it seems “The Casual Vacancy” promises to also have a complex spiritual component! We’ll just have to see whether or not this new book draws fire from religious groups, too.