A new resource guide published yesterday by the Church of England suggests youth leaders should use the popular Harry Potter series of books and films as a launch pad for exploring Christian themes within church youth groups or Sunday schools.
The first six of J K Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold more than 325 million copies in 200 countries. On the eve of the launch of the seventh book in the series, the resource - published by Church House Publishing - enables youth leaders to use extracts from the books and films to draw parallels with daily life and help young people discuss 'big issues'.
By using scenes from the films in which the characters have to make tough decisions to prompt discussion within the group about moral choices, to extracts that demonstrate the power of words and their impact on others, the book is packed full of creative ideas for using the books as a basis for Christian teaching.
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Published 18 July 2007