Archive for March 28th, 2010

Vampires fulfulling a spiritual need

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)Right off the top, I should admit that the only vampire movie I’ve ever seen was the old black & white 1931 Dracula movie starring Bela Lugosi.

I found it entertaining, in a creepy/campy way.

But I don’t fully understand why so many teenage girls, and women of all ages, are going ga-ga over those Twilight movies about chaste teen heartthrob blood suckers.  Robert Pattinson’s abs might be more sculpted than Bela Lugosi’s, but his fangs aren’t nearly as impressive.

However I was interested to come across an article in Touchstone Magazine which claims that the stories fulfil a spiritual void:

…  the  reason these books are so popular: They meet a spiritual need. Mircea Eliade, in his book  The Sacred and the Profane, suggests that popular entertainment, especially imaginative literature and film, serves a religious or mythic function in a secular culture. When God is driven to the periphery of the public square, the human spiritual capacity longs for exercise, and it often finds it in the “suspension of disbelief” and activity of the imagination that are available in novels and movies.

The books and films that satisfy this spiritual longing most profoundly are the ones that have religious content of some kind, sometimes any kind. Not just The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia but also Harry Potter and The Matrix contain symbolism and religious notes that resonate with readers and moviegoers.

Which brings us to Twilight. These Gothic romances featuring atypical vampires and werewolf champions are allegories about the love relationship between God and Man. They are, in fact, a re-telling of the Garden of Eden drama—with a Mormon twist. Here, the Fall is a good thing, even the key to salvation and divinization, just as Joseph Smith, Jr., the Latter-day Saint prophet, said it was. Twilight conveys the appealing message that the surest means to God are sex and marriage.

Read the full article Mormon Vampires in the Garden of Eden here.