Season Five: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Special Edition: What We’re Excited for in Order of the Phoenix

Season 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, launches on August 23rd. Vanessa and Casper get together to talk what they're looking forward to in Order of the Phoenix and share our season 5 trailer about Dolores Umbridge. 

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Belief: Dudley Demented (Book 5, Chapter 1)

Vanessa and Casper dive into Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with the theme of belief. They discuss the breakdown of trust between Harry and the Dursleys, between Harry and his friends, and Harry and himself. Throughout the episode they consider the question: what makes us believe things, beyond just 'the facts'? This week, we're trying out a new spiritual practice: Marginalia

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Frustration: A Peck of Owls (Book 5, Chapter 2)

Vanessa and Casper return to the theme of "frustration" in chapter two of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." This week we discuss the psychology of Mundungus Fletcher, the heroism of Mrs. Figg, and Dudley's crumbling sense of his own supremacy. Our question this week is: When does frustration enable learning? 

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Compassion: The Order of the Phoenix (Book 5, Chapter 3)

Vanessa and Casper return to the theme of "compassion" in chapter three of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." This week we discuss Tonk's hair, Moody's eyeball, and how Harry really needs a meditation practice. Our question this week is: How do we be compassionate to someone who doesn't want to receive it? 

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Anger: Number Twelve Grimmauld Place (Book 5, Chapter 4)

Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of "Anger" in chapter four of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." This week we discuss Percy's betrayal, Ginny's coolness, and how badly Harry is treating his friends. Our question this week is: Is anger ever a productive emotion?

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Gratitude: The Order of the Phoenix (Book 5, Chapter 5)

Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of "gratitude" in chapter five of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." This week we discuss Mundugus Fletcher's apology, Molly Weasley's protectiveness, and the memory of James Potter. Our question this week is: what should the timeline of gratitude look like?

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Memory: The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (Book 5, Chapter 6)

Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of "memory" in chapter six of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." This week we discuss Kreacher's institutional memory, Sirius's family tapestry, and whether or not you should cut an ex out of a photo. Our question this week is: what’s the difference between a memory and a record?

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Progress: The Ministry of Magic (Book 5, Chapter 7)

Vanessa and Casper examine the theme of "Progress" in chapter seven of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This week we discuss whether owls are an obsolete technology, The Fountain of Magical Brethren, and the power of Mamma Mia. Our question this week is: is progress inevitable?

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Partnership: The Hearing (Book 5, Chapter 8)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Partnership in chapter eight of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This week, Vanessa and Casper are joined by Lauren Taylor, co-author of The American Healthcare Paradox and fellow Harvard Divinity School alum. We discuss Fudge and Dumbledore's polarizing effect, Percy's place in the ministry, and give our first impressions of Dolores Umbridge. Our question this week is: how close can we actually get to the kind of 'divine' partnership described by philosophers?

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Will Power: The Woes of Mrs. Weasley (Book 5, Chapter 9)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Will Power in chapter nine of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This week, we continue to obsess about Percy Weasley, congratulate Ron on his grace around being Head Boy, and very much want to punch Lucius Malfoy. Our question this week is: does will power have to happen in the moment, or is something you can plan for? Next week we're reading chapter ten, Luna Lovegood, through the theme of Humility.

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Humility: Luna Lovegood (Book 5, Chapter 10)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Humility in chapter ten of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This week, we talk about Luna's truth-telling, Neville's nerdiness and Ron and Hermione's different approaches to being prefects. Our question this week is: why don't we live more radical lives? Next week we're doing an Owl Post episode with special guest Lynne Gerber talking to us about paganism.

Halloween Edition: On Witches and Brett Kavanaugh

Casper is out sick, so Vanessa is taking over our owl post episode this week. We talk Brett Kavanaugh and answer voicemails about his hearing, Voldemort's name, Advent and marginalia. Vanessa also has the opportunity to chat with Dr. Lynne Gerber, a friend of the podcast from Harvard Divinity School. They discuss Lynne's experience with neo-paganism and how to create feminist spaces for religious practice. Next week, we'll be reading Chapter 11 of Order of the Phoenix, The Sorting Hat's New Song, through the theme of dread.

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Dread: The Sorting Hat's New Song (Book 5, Chapter 11)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Dread in chapter eleven of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This week, we discuss Hermione's insight into Umbridge, Harry and Seamus' big fight, and the content of The Sorting Hat's New Song (surprise!). Our question this week is: Is dread about the certainly of what's coming? Or the uncertainly of what could come? Next week we're reading Chapter 12, Professor Umbridge, through the theme of Pride.

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Pride: Professor Umbridge (Book 5, Chapter 12)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Pride in chapter twelve of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This week, we discuss the different political strategies of Umbridge, Hermione, Parvati, and Harry in this chapter. Our question this week is: When is pride healthy, and when does it lead to our downfall? Next week we're reading Chapter 13, Detention with Dolores, through the theme of Obsession.

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Obsession: Detention with Dolores (Book 5, Chapter 13)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of Obsession in chapter thirteen of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". This week, we discuss Hermione's House Elf activism, Umbridge's thirst for power, and Harry's love of Quidditch. Our question this week is: What are we willing to sacrifice for our work? Next week we're reading Chapter 14, Percy and Padfoot, through the theme of Boundaries. 

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Boundaries: Percy and Padfoot (Book 5, Chapter 14)

Vanessa and Casper explore the theme of boundaries in chapter fourteen of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. They discuss the chemistry between Harry and Cho Chang, Sirius' wise thoughts on Umbridge, and Pansy Parkinson's racist comment. Throughout the episode they consider the question: What boundaries bring us closer to loving one another? Next week we're reading chapter fifteen, The Hogwarts High Inquisitor, through the theme of Healing.