Theology and Vampires

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Madeline Potter (University of York)

Theology and Vampires

From the ‘vampire craze’ of the eighteenth century, and up to contemporary takes on the genre, vampire narratives have been inextricably bound up with theological questions. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula and its many adaptations, the vampire is repelled by the crucifix and the consecrated Host. Two puncture wounds on the victim’s neck in Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ make the doctor send for a clergyman. In Anne Rice’s Memnoch the Devil, Lestat believes that he has witnessed the Crucifixion and tasted Christ’s blood. ‘God kills, and so shall we; indiscriminately He takes the richest and the poorest, and so shall we; for no creatures under God are as we are, none so like Him as ourselves’, he tells Louis in Interview with the Vampire, styling himself as a God, and mimicking divine omnipotence. But he has no answers to give Louis, no revelation, and no known salvation or solace, because he is just like him in their shared vampiric nature. What do these examples tell us about where the vampire sits in relation to the divine? And what kind of theological vision do vampire stories uncover?

Given the richness of theological substratum in vampire fiction, we invite submissions for a collected volume entitled Theology and Vampires, for the Theology and Pop Culture Seriespublished by Lexington Books/Fortress Academic. The aim of this volume is to explore the theology of vampires, with a particular focus on the pop culture aspect of vampire narratives. We are seeking essays exploring the theological implications of the vampire across a wide range of media, from popular Victorian tales through to films, video games, and animated series. 

Possible topics could include:

-eschatology and vampire salvation

-free will and predestination

-the Eucharist, sacramentality, and blood drinking

-theology of the body

–analogia entis, univocity of being, and vampire ontology 

-Faustian pacts and the demonic sublime

-conditionalism and immortality

-gender and theology

-vampires, victims, and divine kenosis

-theodicy and the realness of evil

-denominational commitment and religious tradition 

-theological epistemology and the vampire figure

-vampires and creation

-ecclesiology and vampire genesis 

Please send 500-word abstracts, accompanied by a current CV, to madeline.potter@york.ac.uk by November 01, 2021. Acceptance notifications will be sent out no later than 15 November 2021. Final essays are due 1st June 2022.