Religion and Its Monsters
Religious encounters with mystery can be fascinating, but also terrifying. So too when it comes to encounters with the monsters that haunt Jewish and Christian traditions. Religion has a lot to do with horror, and horror has a lot to do with religion. Religion has its monsters, and monsters have their religion. In this unusual and provocative book, Timothy Beal explores how religion, horror, and the monstrous are deeply intertwined.
This new edition has been thoughtfully updated, reflecting on developments in the field over the past two decades and highlighting its contributions to emerging conversations. It also features a new chapter, "Gods, Monsters, and Machines," which engages cultural fascinations and anxieties about technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning as they relate to religion and the monstrous at the dawn of the Anthropocene.
Religion and Its Monsters is essential reading for students and scholars of religion and popular culture, as well as for any readers with an interest in horror theory or monster theory.
Introduction to the Second Edition
Introduction to the First Edition: Religion and Its Monsters, Monsters and Their Religion
Part One: Religion and Its Monsters
1. Chaos Gods: Cosmic Horrors from the Ancient Near East
2. The Bible and Horror: Making and Unmaking the World
3. The Sleep of Wisdom: Job and the Abyss of Suffering
4. From the Whirlwind: Where God Outmonsters Job
5. Dinner and a Show: Watching and Eating Monsters with the Rabbis
6. To the Devil: John’s Great Red Dragon
Part Two: Monsters and Their Religion
7. New Monsters in Old Skins: Modern Awe and Order
8. Other Gods: Colonialism and Its Monsters
9. The Blood Is the Life: Ritual Purity and Danger in Dracula
10. Screening Monsters: Movie Time, Sacred Time
11. Ecomonsters: The Return of the Ecologically Repressed
12. Our Monsters, Ourselves: Sacred Horror Culture
13. Gods, Monsters, and Machines: Artificial Intelligence in the Anthropocene
Conclusion: Here Be Monsters.