Host of the Podcast Harry Potter & The Scared Text
Vanessa is from Los Angeles, California. She has her BA in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis, her MS in Nonprofit Management from the University of Pennsylvania and her MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. Read More >
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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’ Read More >
This podcast creates time in your week to think about life’s big questions. Because reading fiction doesn’t help us escape the world, it helps us live in it.
On this podcast, we ask: What if we read the books we love as if they were sacred texts?
Just as Christians read the Bible, Jews the Torah and Muslims read the Quran, we are embarking on a 199-episode journey (one chapter an episode, to be released weekly) to glean what wisdom and meaning we can make from J.K. Rowling’s beloved novels. We read Harry Potter, not just as novels, but as instructive and inspirational texts that will teach us about our own lives.
Each week, we explore a central theme through which to explore the characters and context, always grounding ourselves in the text. We’ll engage in traditional forms of sacred reading to unearth the hidden gifts within even the most mundane sentences.
To get the most out of the podcast, we recommend reading along with us so that details from each chapter are fresh in your mind, but re-reading is absolutely not a requirement to enjoy listening! Read Less ^
"Vanessa is an absolute delight to work with! She’s charming, thoughtful, and evokes great, impactful conversation no matter the situation; one-on-one discussions, small group gatherings, big events, she is consistently articulate. She has the incredible ability to put people at ease, while challenging them to think deeply about meaning and purpose."