Susanna Clements | Brazos Press
Author Susanna Clements studies how Christianity figures
into vampire fiction in The
Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero. In chronological order, she
explores Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, Buffy
the Vampire Slayer, Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire
Mysteries (aka True Blood) and Stephenie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga.
Defanged might be a simple
compare-and-contrast if not for a clear progression toward the secular in the
genre as Clements examines each work. Dracula is sin personified, recoiling at
anything holy and drinking blood in a perversion of the Last Supper. With each
successive interpretation, vampires have more free will—the foundation of a
soul—and Christian theology matters less in the vampire universe.
Buffy holds paganism and Christianity equally valid, and
Harris openly ridicules fundamentalist Christians. With Twilight, faith is
almost nonexistent. Vampires can seemingly have it all: romance, family,
physical perfection and cannibalism-free immortality. Appropriately, Meyer’s
vampires have no fangs.
For Christian fans of vampire fiction, Defanged makes
a useful reference point. Understanding the ideas behind the mythology helps
the reader to separate theology from simple entertainment.
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