A brief report on the LDS-themed chapter in Twilight and Philosophy

My local library system just happens to have acquired Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality (Amazon). Based on the table of contents, it would appear the all the Mormonism-related content is found in Marc E. Shaw’s contribution “For the Strength of Bella? Meyer, Vampires and Mormonsim” (pages 227-236). Here is  my brief report on that chapter (please note that I haven’t read any of the other chapters and that I’m well aware that these pop culture meets philosophy anthologies are quite popular and are intended for a specific audience to serve a specific purpose [and, of course, to profit from and fan the flames of fandom]):

Establishing of credentials (Shaw went to BYU too!). For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet reference. Eternal marriage. Meyer “plays Heavenly Mother to her fictional daughter, Bella”. Agency. Nod at Augustine. Edward-as-savior. Edward “means what he says” ~~ binds himself to Bella with his words. Utterance — words mean action. Nod at Austin. Sealing/union of body and spirit. Plato and love. Way liberal — LDS still man and woman, BUT! :: Meyer’s The Host. Somehow leads to a Big Love reference. Erotics of abstinence. Chastity. Deseret Book controversy ~~ sexy too sexy; shelves to special order. “Vampire family values!” Feminist film theory and the gaze :: Bella returns the gaze (Edward)! Is Twilight Mormon? All the before shows that “nice Mormon girls” can write about “sexy vampires.”

Well, I’m convinced.

7 thoughts on “A brief report on the LDS-themed chapter in Twilight and Philosophy”

  1. Nope. It should be Meyer “plays…” I’ll update the post. Thanks for catching it.

    I do have to say, though, that that section in particular just seemed odd.

  2. I don’t know that it’s really worth unpacking, but sure.

    Basically, Shaw talks about Plato and love, acknowledges that Plato’s ideas about love were way more liberal than the LDS conception which focuses on heterosexual marriage, but then says that with Meyer things get more complicated because of The Host, which features two female entities in the same body (the mind of the woman and an alien who is using the body as a host and is trying to take it over).

  3. Okay. My eyes were just passing over William’s post when I noticed a typo: “Mormonsim.” Far be it from me to make a man an offender for a misplaced letter… But think what possibilities the word “Mormonsim” opens up. Is it like other kinds of Sims? Is it other people trying to be Mormons? Mormons trying to be something else? Mormons pretending to be Mormons, and thereby creating a “sim” essence of Mormonism (like the Visitor’s Center mannequin of Angels in America which, Kushner unfairly implies, is pretty much all there is to our plastic and publicity-conscious religion)?

    Okay. It’s definitely time for me to go to bed now…

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