COLUMN: 5 Books You Can't Escape: It's still a Twilight summer
Dr. Wayne Baker welcomes guest columnist Jane Wells this week. Here is her third column:
The Twilight series already has sold well over 100 million books — a rare accomplishment in publishing. The series is such a cultural landmark that I was moved to write a book about the series, myself. My book is called Glitter in the Sun and looks at spiritual aspects in the saga about a vampire-human-werewolf love triangle. I pointed to characters and scenes in the Twilight books and movies that illustrate eternal love, unconditional love, self-sacrifice and spiritual growth.
I’m not alone. In 2012, others are taking notice of these larger issues. In an earlier column for ReadTheSpirit, I reported on the research by Line Nybro Peterson of the University of Copenhagen’s film and media studies department. She recently wrote a thesis, “Wicked Angels, Adorable Vampires!” asserting teens in Denmark’s post-religious culture are using modern Gothic tales to frame concepts typically explained through theology. She wrote that young people are using these stories to put handles on death, eternity and the value of a soul.
Peterson isn’t the only one to remark on this trend to “religionize” gothic fiction. Harvard University Press recently published Victoria Nelson’s Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural.
The Gothicka book summary on Amazon.com puts it this way, “Today’s Gothic has fashioned its monsters and devils into heroes and angels and is actively reviving supernaturalism in popular culture. Nelson argues that this mainstreaming of a spiritually driven supernaturalism is a harbinger of what a post-Christian religion in America might look like.”
Attracted to these books or not? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Do you see spiritual themes in the Twilight saga?
How do you compare the Twilight novels and movies?
ABOUT JANE WELLS: Jane is the Marketing Director of ReadTheSpirit online magazine and author of a book about religious themes in the Twilight saga of novels, called Glitter in the Sun.