Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christians and Vampires, Ghosts, and Werewolves (Brian Abshire)

The Christian and Were-Wolves

The Theology of Lycanthropy:

“Even a man who is pure of heart,
And says his prayers at night;
Can become a wolf,
When the wolf-bane blooms,
And the full moon shines out its light”
(The Wolf-Man-Universal Studios)

Far too many moderns lack a sense of history; and not knowing where they came from, inevitably are confused about where they are going,- both individually, and culturally. For example, it was little more than two decades ago that the wolf in American culture underwent a massive PR campaign, giving him a new image. You can revel in his adventures in films and documentaries, use his image to advertise various products and even purchase his face for t-shirts. And all the time you can bewail this noble beast’s persecution at the hand of evil men. Pardon me, if I have another opinion.

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The Christian and Vampires

The Ethics of Vampirism

Myths and legends are not just quaint folk-tales told for amusement-even in the days before television and movies, myths always served a higher function than mere “entertainment.” Invariably, behind those stories there exists an entire worldview that deals with the fears, anxieties, and darkest desires of a culture. A single myth can explain more about a culture, than a legion of sociologists armed with surveys and clip-boards could accomplish in a life-time. Myths are powerful because they tap into the real, underlying values of a culture.

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The Bible and Ghosts

Of Ghosties and Ghoulies and Things that Go Bump in the Night

As far back as anthropologists can track human legends, the belief in ghosts and spirits is already present. From a humanist, materialist perspective, “animism” (the idea that rocks, streams, trees, etc. are inhabited by invisible “spiritual” entities) is asserted to be the first religion. Primitive man supposedly created the concept to explain what was otherwise inexplicable by attributing “supernatural” causes to what we “know” today to be “natural” effects. Part of that explanation process included what happened to man and animals that had died. It is no accident that in many ancient languages, the words for “soul” and “spirit” are derived from the ones for “breath” or “life” since the most visible differences between the dead and the living is that the dead no longer breathes. Therefore at death, the “breath” or “spirit” had departed the body and the inevitable questions then arose; where did it go, was it still around and what might it do to the living?

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