Viral Catholic has an interesting post critiquing the Harry Potter series’ take on death:
The character whose attitude to death least resembled Jesus’ attitude is Dumbledore. So here is the problem. Knowing what we know about Dumbledore’s manliness regarding death, and his turning his nose down at Voldemort’s running away from death, we can only conclude that if Dumbledore had been in the garden that night of Jesus’ agony, he would have mocked and belittled Jesus the same way he did Voldemort. He would have shook his head in disgust at the sight of Jesus laying there on the ground weeping at the approach of death. “Dont’ you know”, he might of said, “that to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure”?
Personally this seems like an idiosyncratic reading of the series — and reading a bit too much into a few lines. I read the series very differently: Voldemort’s fear of death has never struck me a natural, human type of fear, but an unhealthy obsession due to his belief that there is nothing else after death. Voldemort believes that this life is all we have and so resorts to grotesque measures to control death and unnaturally prolong his life. Dumbledore recognizes, however, that death has lost its sting — death is not an end, but a transition. This isn’t necessarily flippant; he is certainly serious about the deaths of Cedric and Sirius.
I think we also need to remember that Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is facing not just death but hours of torture and humiliation beforehand. I don’t think Jesus is fearing simple death there, but the whole Passion as it will unfold.
While Dumbledore’s lack of fear regarding death may not resemble Jesus’, it certainly resembles some of the saints, such as St. Francis who welcomed Sister Death at the end of his life, and even St. Lawrence who famously told his executioners, while being roasted on a grill: “Turn me over; I’m done on this side.”
Have I misread the series? Any other Potter fans have a different take?