’Twilight’ Stands In For Religion for Some Teens
2012 05 25

By Stephanie Pappas | LiveScience.com



"Twilight" and other supernatural tales may give some non-religious teens a place to grapple with the big questions of life, according to a Danish researcher.

In Denmark, where religion is not a large part of daily life, teens seem to use media — often, American media — to explore questions of good and evil, life after death and destiny, Line Nybro Petersen of the University of Copenhagen’s film and media studies department has found. The communal experiences of hardcore fans of the series can even echo religious communities.

"Being a ’Twilight’ fan allows the teenagers to engage in very intense emotional experiences," Petersen told LiveScience. "You can almost get the sense that these are transcendental emotions, the feeling that you are part of something bigger than yourself in a semireligious way."

"Twilight" and other supernatural tales may give some non-religious teens a place to grapple with the big questions of life, according to a Danish researcher.

In Denmark, where religion is not a large part of daily life, teens seem to use media — often, American media — to explore questions of good and evil, life after death and destiny, Line Nybro Petersen of the University of Copenhagen’s film and media studies department has found. The communal experiences of hardcore fans of the series can even echo religious communities.

"Being a ’Twilight’ fan allows the teenagers to engage in very intense emotional experiences," Petersen told LiveScience. "You can almost get the sense that these are transcendental emotions, the feeling that you are part of something bigger than yourself in a semireligious way." [8 Ways Religion Impacts Your Life]

Vampires and spirituality

Vampires may seem an odd icon in which to find spiritual experiences, but "Twilight," "True Blood" and other supernatural series are part of a well-worn process of film and media turning old ideas into new stories. Media studies researchers call this process "mediatization."

For example, religious symbols such as the cross and holy water show up frequently in the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but they’re largely stripped of their Christian. Instead, they’re simply weapons against vampires with little mention of theology.

Vampires undergo a similar transformation in "Twilight." Instead of evaporating when they step into the sun, for example, they sparkle — a more effective convention for a romantic hero compared with turning into a pile of dust.

As part of her doctoral dissertation, Petersen surveyed and interviewed Danish teens with an interest in supernatural TV shows or movies, from "Twilight" to "Ghost Whisperer," in which Jennifer Love Hewitt portrays a woman who can communicate with the dead. She found that while many of these teens rejected organized religion, they still grappled with the big questions of life.

[...]


Read the full article at: livescience.com





Related Articles
Female ’Vampire’ Had Brick Jammed In Mouth
Nicolas Cage Addresses Rumors He’s A Vampire
Teen’s Murder Defense: I am a Vampire. And a Werewolf
Texas "vampire" arrest sparks discussion on pop culture
Garlic Keeps More Than Vampires Away
Popularity of vampires spawns blood drinking subculture
How Twilight Offers Fans the Magic Missing from Organized Religion
’Vlad the Impaler’ relation to "Twilight"s Pattinson Debunked


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »