Thursday, January 29, 2015

"the city devours": Zombie Eucharist

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Matthew Tan:
Many often talk about cities as being soul destroying, whether it is in reference to a cultural deadening borne from the replacement of theatres, independent stores and galleries with consumerised counterparts (especially via commercial chains), or in reference to the decaying (often brutalist) architecture. 
A similar insight can be found in the sociologist Jacques Ellul's The Meaning of the City, in which Ellul warned his readers about cities being more than just boring architecture or sites of waste. For Ellul, cities are parasites. More specifically, Ellul compares them to vampires as they 

prey on the true living creation [...] The city is dead, made of dead things for dead people [...] the city devours men

Writing thirty years later, Ward made an explicit reference to this passage and extended the analysis to give it a Eucharistic inflection. In his Cities of God, Ward spoke of vampires as working in an anti-Eucharistic fashion. Rather than giving blood for the life of the world, the vampire takes blood from the world and and ends life to sustain an already dead being. "Vampire stories," Ward argues "are Eucharistic stories played out negatively. A similar observation could be said of the zombie genre...continued here

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