272 episodes

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.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Tex‪t‬ Not Sorry Productions

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 5.9K Ratings

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.

    The Real Question: Grandparents

    The Real Question: Grandparents

    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 George, Casper and Vanessa think through how grief changes over time.
     
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    • 41 min
    Transitions: The Boy Who Lived (Book 1, Chapter 1) - Live From Vanessa’s Living Room

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

    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.
     
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    • 52 min
    Special Edition: Whole Series Wrap-Up

    Special Edition: Whole Series Wrap-Up

    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.


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    It’s two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollars to join our Patreon for extra bloopers every week! Please consider helping us fill our Gringotts vault so we can continue to make this show.
     
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    • 43 min
    Owl Post Edition: The Importance of Re-Reading with Stephanie Paulsell

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

    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 us fill our Gringotts vault so we can continue to make this show.
     
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    • 44 min
    Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    Wrap-Up: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

    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 our mentor, Stephanie Paulsell. 


    --
    It’s two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollars to join our Patreon for extra bloopers every week! Please consider helping us fill our Gringotts vault so we can continue to make this show.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 43 min
    Love: Nineteen Years Later (Book 7, Epilogue)

    Love: Nineteen Years Later (Book 7, Epilogue)

    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 Hallows.


    --
    It’s two sickles to join S.P.E.W., and only two dollars to join our Patreon for extra bloopers every week! Please consider helping us fill our Gringotts vault so we can continue to make this show.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
5.9K Ratings

5.9K Ratings

theamazingMMK ,

I love this

But there is so much adds
Spot the difference

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ADHDfamily12 ,

Thank you, Casper

I put off listening to the last episode with you as cohost because I just didn’t want it to happen. Alas, I listened because I know that transitions are a part of life, and I should roll with them.

This podcast has meant so much to me. I discovered it in 2018 shortly after giving birth to my youngest child. The show has taught me to see things from a different view. It’s helped me grow stronger in my faith. And best of all - it’s something I was able to share with my fellow HP fan and mother-in-law. She died in August 2020 after a long, stoic battle with cancer, but I think of her when I listen to the show now because she loved to delve into the deeper side of the books.

I look forward to seeing the direction Vanessa and Matt take the show. Blessings to you all.

Fox Gloves ,

A Truly Magical Podcast

Once in a great while, something perfect comes along.

Harry Potter.
Thin Mints.
This podcast.

Listening to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is like having a deep intellectual discussion with your best friends - if those friends had gone to Harvard Divinity School. Casper and Vanessa bring a wonderful combination of humor, wisdom, and perspective to the world of Harry Potter. As an agnostic, I really appreciate the reflection and compassion this podcast inspires, and it fills that spiritual niche that can be hard to satisfy without organized religion in your life. Plus, the community and the actions brought to life by Harry Potter and the Sacred Text have had a real impact for good in the world.

I especially recommend this podcast if you’re disillusioned with J.K. Rowling’s recent transphobic comments. Vanessa and Casper don’t shy away from the tough topics and definitely help you move through them.

If you grew up reading the Harry Potter books like I did, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text provides a new depth to an old favorite. If you’re new to the books, the podcast will allow you to gain so much more from the story. Try it - you won’t regret it.

P.S. - I can’t believe it took Casper leaving the podcast to finally get me to write a glowing review. Best of luck in your future endeavors, and I’ll be listening to the Real Question!

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