Curating Content To Support Learning About Humanity's Transition

Zombies in Western Culture

Zombies in Western Culture

by John Vervaeke
A Twenty-First Century Crisis
"one of the most thought provoking books i've read" | "Very inspiring and challenging read"


Why has the zombie become such a pervasive figure in twenty-first-century popular culture? John Vervaeke, Christopher Mastropietro and Filip Miscevic seek to answer this question by arguing that particular aspects of the zombie, common to a variety of media forms, reflect a crisis in modern Western culture.

The authors examine the essential features of the zombie, including mindlessness, ugliness and homelessness, and argue that these reflect the outlook of the contemporary West and its attendant zeitgeists of anxiety, alienation, disconnection and disenfranchisement. They trace the relationship between zombies and the theme of secular apocalypse, demonstrating that the zombie draws its power from being a perversion of the Christian mythos of death and resurrection. Symbolic of a lost Christian worldview, the zombie represents a world that can no longer explain itself, nor provide us with instructions for how to live within it.

The concept of  ‘domicide’ or the destruction of home is developed to describe the modern crisis of meaning that the zombie both represents and reflects. This is illustrated using case studies including the relocation of the Anishinaabe of the Grassy Narrows First Nation, and the upheaval of population displacement in the Hellenistic period. Finally, the authors invoke and reformulate symbols of the four horseman of the apocalypse as rhetorical analogues to frame those aspects of contemporary collapse that elucidate the horror of the zombie.

Zombies in Western Culture: A Twenty-First Century Crisis is required reading for anyone interested in the phenomenon of zombies in contemporary culture. It will also be of interest to an interdisciplinary audience including students and scholars of culture studies, semiotics, philosophy, religious studies, eschatology, anthropology, Jungian studies, and sociology


John Vervaeke
Psychology and Cognitive Science Professor | YouTuber | Integrating science and spirituality to solve the meaning crisis

John’s 51-video course on Awakening from the Meaning Crisis provides a resource of unmatched depth and breadth on the Meaning Crisis. Although challenging, it is also very accessible to any inquisitive mind.

Commentary by TLLP

Psychology and Cognitive Science Professor at University of Toronto | Integrating science and spirituality to solve the meaning crisis

From John’s LinkedIn Profile:

I teach course for three programs. I teach courses in cognitive psychology on thinking and reasoning, higher cognition, and cognitive development. I also teach courses in the cognitive science program on integrating the work done in psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguists, and philosophy to try and tackle central problems about the nature of cognition. Finally, I teach in the Buddhism, Psychology, and Mental Health program on the intersection between Buddhism and Cognitive Science, and on the scientific basis of mindfulness meditation.


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