Defining “Out of Left Field”

Has anybody else noted the point of contact between Harry Potter and Reformation anti-Catholic polemics? That is, evangelical/Protestant advocates accused Catholic clergy of being Totenfresserei, “Eaters of the dead” (because they took offerings for saying masses for the souls of the deceased) — not precisely “Death-eaters,” but close enough to make a theologian wonder whether J. K. Rowling (from famously Reformed Scotland) has composed Harry Potter with a very subtle anti-Catholic subtext.

Not that that would stop me from itching to get hold of volume seven.

2 thoughts on “Defining “Out of Left Field”

  1. I think you’d need to find more than one possible coincidence in order to make a case for deliberate anti-Catholicism.

  2. Well, playing in left field… 🙂

    To what extent did such rhetoric survive beyond the Reformation? Nineteenth-century Anglo-American anti-Catholic polemics (golly, enough with the hyphens already…) occasionally make the claim that transubstantiation = cannibalism, and there are a fair number of attacks on masses for the dead as a kind of “industrialized” spirituality (pay for pray, as it were), but I’ve never seen the “eaters of the dead” charge anywhere. Not even where you might expect to find it, like the Scottish Reformation Society’s Bulwark.

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