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 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 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 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 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 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 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

Fear: The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters (Book 1, Chapter 6)

6/10/2021
Vanessa and Matt explore the theme of fear in chapter six Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This week we discuss how the Dursleys change (and don't change) towards Harry, Ron's role in his family, and how truly wonderful Molly is to Harry and her kids. Throughout the episode we consider the question: what makes someone a bully? Thanks to Amethyst for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 7, The Sorting Hat through the theme of revenge. -- It’s two sickles to join...

Duration:00:47:06

Awe: Diagon Alley (Book 1, Chapter 5)

6/3/2021
Vanessa and Matt explore the theme of awe in chapter five Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This week we discuss Harry’s fame, Draco’s relationship with his wand, and the joys and overwhelm of travel. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Can you be in awe of things that aren't 'good'? Thanks to Rachell for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 6, The Journey to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters through the theme of fear. -- It’s two sickles to join...

Duration:00:41:52

Owl Post Edition: Wizard Supremacy with Naomi Westwater

5/27/2021
This week, Vanessa and Matt are joined by Naomi Westwater to discuss how we see Wizard Supremacy operating in the text and how it helps us understand supremacy in our lives. Thanks to for their beautiful voicemail contributions. Next week we’ll be reading Book 1, Chapter 5, Diagon Alley, through the theme of awe. If you're interested in joining Naomi's class, you can sign up here! -- It’s only two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollar to join our Patreon for extra bloopers...

Duration:00:50:12

Celebration: The Keeper of the Keys (Book 1, Chapter 4)

5/20/2021
Vanessa and Matt explore the theme of celebration in chapter four Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This week we discuss Harry’s birthday feast, the relentlessness of the Hogwarts letters, and the way that Hagrid intimidates the Dursleys. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Does celebration need to be joyful? Or is the ritual of it the important thing? Thanks to Didi for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re doing an Owl Post episode with Naomi Westwater on Wizard...

Duration:00:46:06

What We Love About Regency with Julie Anne Long

5/14/2021
We're between seasons of Hot and Bothered, but that doesn't mean we've stopped reading Romance novels. On the contrary, recently Vanessa has been binge reading The Pennyroyal Green Series by Julie Anne Long. And because Romance novelist are the nicest kind of people, we were lucky enough to get Julie on the phone. We asked her all of our questions about her books, how she got started writing, and regency romance. Enjoy this mini-episode! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out...

Duration:00:22:43

Obedience: The Letters from No One (Book 1, Chapter 3)

5/13/2021
This week we're lucky to be joined by Jolie Doggett as we explore the theme of obedience in chapter three Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This week we discuss Vernon's toxic masculinity, Dumbledore's manipulation, and whether Petunia fell in love with Vernon because he's so dominant. Throughout the episode we consider the question: How do you choose what to be obedient (or disobedient) to? Thanks to Zoe for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 4, The Keeper of the...

Duration:00:50:03

Hope: The Vanishing Glass (Book 1, Chapter 2)

5/6/2021
Vanessa and Matt explore the theme of hope in chapter two Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This week we discuss Harry's scar, descriptions of Dudley's body, and the 'foreignness' of the escaped boa constrictor. Throughout the episode we consider the question: Are small sources of hope helpful or cruel? Thanks to Olivia for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 3, The Letter's from No One, through the theme of Obedience. -- It’s two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only...

Duration:01:04:02

Frustration: The Boy Who Lived (Book 1, Chapter 1)

4/29/2021
Vanessa and Matt explore the theme of frustration in the very first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This week we discuss how the Dursley's are raising Dudley, why Vernon is so offended by seeing men in robes, and whether it's okay to just leave a baby on a doorstep (Spoiler: it's not). Throughout the episode we consider the question: How do we react to frustration productively? Thanks to Dallas for this week’s voicemail! Next week we’re reading Chapter 2, The Vanishing...

Duration:00:58:46

Special Edition: New Series, New Host, New Us

4/22/2021
We made it all the way back to Book 1 and there are some changes happening around Harry Potter and the Sacred Text! Namely, we have a brand new co-host: The brilliant and wise Matt Potts. This week, Vanessa and Matt get together to talk about what they’re excited for in the first book, share their thoughts about sacred reading, and introduce a new critical lens to our reading practice. Next week, we’re reading Chapter 1 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Boy Who Lived, through...

Duration:00:41:27

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