Newswise — The award-winning author of One Fine Potion: The Literary Magic of Harry Potter says the final film in the Harry Potter series, which premieres in theaters July 15, marks "the end of an era."

The film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 will be "one last magical moment," said Dr. Greg Garrett, a professor of English at Baylor University who writes about culture, politics and religion.

“For all of us who have loved the books, or the movies, or both, we’ll never again have such an excuse to be a community gathered around Harry and his story," Garrett said. "His courage and self-sacrifice have made us want to be braver people. His friendships with people like Ron and Hermione have made us want to be better friends. And his compassion for people who were marginal — or in this last film, even for his enemies — has made us want to be more compassionate people.”

The Potter movie is the last entry in the most popular film series of all time (out-grossing Star Wars and the James Bond films), drawn from the most popular fiction of all time. The story and characters have shaped the lives of Harry Potter fans, Garrett said. They have been so popular in book and film form because they dramatize many of people’s deepest concerns.

“In a world where we’re told we need to be individuals looking out for ourselves only, Harry and those around him constantly put others first,” Garrett said. “In a world where we’re told we need to be meaner than our enemies, Harry shows us the power of compassion and nonviolence. And in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by images and stories that threaten to break us down, Harry’s life reminds us the importance of hope in a better future.”

Ultimately, stories such as Harry’s make it possible for us to live in our own stories more wisely, he said.

Garrett teaches creative writing, film, literature and theology at Baylor.

He is the author of The Other Jesus, We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel according to U2, The Gospel according to Hollywood, Holy Superheroes, Stories from the Edge: A Theology of Grief, and One Fine Potion. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed novels Free Bird (chosen by Publishers Weekly and the Rocky Mountain News as one of the most promising fiction debuts of 2002), Cycling, and Shame, and the memoirs Crossing Myself and No Idea. A columnist for Patheos, Garrett is also a featured blogger for The Christian Century at

He is a past winner of the Pirate's Alley William Faulkner Prize for Fiction and a CASE Gold Medal for Nonfiction, and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

ABOUT BAYLORBaylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest, continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Texas, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.