The children went off to school quite happily on Monday after their two-week break. I was surprised. It also happened to be my birthday, and my husband was home, so we were able to have a lovely lunch date. Our lunch itself, at a trendy local bistro, was a gift from friends.
I bought myself a book on my Kindle, Redeeming Flesh: The Way of the Cross with Zombie Jesus. Yes, it’s an interesting title! I don’t really get the whole zombie thing and wasn’t much aware that Zombie Jesus was a thing – apparently it is.
In his introduction, author Dr Matthew Tan, a philosophy and theology lecturer at Campion College Sydney, and blogger at Patheos, writes that the ‘Zombie Jesus’ meme “will act as a touchstone for a broader inquiry in to the reasons behind the prominence of the zombie in popular culture, and how the Christian might engage the motif of the zombie at a cultural level in light of its popularity among Christian and non-Christian consumers of popular culture. This work will also highlight how the Christian might engage the zombie at a theological level, and make the zombie not only a part of his or her consumption of popular culture, but also a way towards cultivating a greater appreciation of the saving work of God.”
I haven’t got past the introduction yet, but it’s timely reading as we nudge closer to the celebration of All Hallows which has almost been consumed by the Halloween phenomenon – when we’re going to start seeing zombies popping up everywhere on social media and whatnot. I love that theology can be applied to popular culture, and that a grotesque joke about Jesus can be turned around and used as a means of drawing people into an appreciation of him and what he has done.
“In all created things, discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.” So wrote St Teresa of Avila, whose feast day happens to be in a couple of days (October 15). I wonder what she would make of the Zombie Jesus meme? In any case, I think she would probably admire what Matthew has done with it.
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I have to ponder on this a little. Not really getting the “zombie” thing either, unless it refers to Jesus raising from the dead. That is a “zombie” in Hollywood terms. Of course when applied to Christ, I have to kind of step back and think this through. God Bless, SR
Hi SR! I meant that I just don’t have any interest in zombies, or the horror genre. I used to, but that’s a whole other story 🙂
I’ve only read the introduction, I’ll try to get through it and write a review soon. Or maybe, blog my way through it if it’s going to take me a while and people are interested. I’m expecting the idea to come through that the fascination with flesh-eating zombies in popular culture is a manifestation of people’s anxiety about death and the meaning of life in the absence of faith in God, and a reflection of the desire for everlasting life that God has given us all as human beings. For people who love God, all things can work towards their greater love of God (to paraphrase St Paul). I think the author’s using zombies, and a crude joke about Jesus, as a spin-off for a deeper appreciation of Jesus, the Eucharist, and…I don’t know what else, I’ll have to read it!
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