Synopsis: The academy and pop culture alike recognize the great symbolic and teaching value of the undead, whether vampires, zombies, or other undead or living-dead creatures. This has been explored variously from critiques of consumerism and racism, through explorations of gender and sexuality, to consideration of the breakdown of the nuclear family. Most academic examinations of the undead have been undertaken from the perspectives of philosophy and political theory, but another important avenue of exploration comes through theology. Through the vampire, the zombie, the Golem, and Cenobites, contributors address a variety of theological issues by way of critical reflection on the divine and the sacred in popular culture through film, television, graphic novels, and literature. Endorsements: "Both theologians and fans should appreciate this collection that explores the spiritual implications of society's fascination with the undead and other monsters, providing valuable insights into human nature and theology. A notable contribution to pop culture studies." --Elizabeth L. Rambo Associate Professor of English Campbell University "What can AMC's popular television series, The Walking Dead, the mythical golem creature in Jewish folklore, and the demon 'cenobites' who rule hell in Clive Barker's fiction tell us about pressing theological matters? This clever, insightful, and energetic collection of essays brings monsters into conversation with the resurrection of Jesus, and considers the eschatological implications of the return of the dead . . . An excellent resource for students who know these worlds all too well, as well as a general audience growing more and more curious about the religious dimensions of popular culture." --Gary Laderman, Professor of American Religious History and Cultures Emory University Author Biography: Kim Paffenroth is Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College. He has written numerous books on the Bible, theology, and the intersection of Christianity with popular culture, as well as several horror novels. John W. Morehead works in religion and popular culture. He has contributed essays to various works on horror, science fiction, and religion in popular culture.
Kim Paffenroth is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.
John W. Morehead (MA, Salt Lake Theological Seminary) is Director of Multifaith Matters and the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He is coeditor of Encountering New Religious Movements (2004). Brandon C. Benziger (ThM, MDiv, Denver Seminary) is a freelance editor and an independent author and researcher. He is the compiler of Emotions and the Bible (2015).