Relationship between the Zombies and Religion
“McAlister argues that zombie films are inherently religious as they always invoke thoughts of an apocalypse (474).” Ideally, most of us relate belief and faith to church matters. However, the confessions of various individuals are quite intriguing and may make one doubt about the validity of the popular belief. The fanatics of the zombie movies find their faith in zombies perhaps due to the prolonged interaction with films. This implies that there is some interconnection between the zombies and religion. The two subjects share in many aspects majorly in the beliefs of resurrection, eternity and apocalypse. I strongly subscribe to this belief. Perhaps, the zombies are a product of religious beliefs. The world is slowly evolving and so do the human beings and their religion. New religions are gradually replacing the old ones, and they might perhaps conquer them. The zombie theology is taking over the world as people are developing much interest in related films.Romero’s film Night of the Living Dead clearly illustrates that there is much that lies behind the zombies rather than the quite obvious (Murphy). In the film, various characters are confronted by the ghouls who end up killing them and eating their flesh. It is quite breathtaking how a character after death and being eaten by the ghouls emerges once again as a zombie (Romero). Ben who is a remnant from the crisis ends up being shot by the posse who mistake him for a ghoul. This depicts the highest order of inhumanity. But at the state of death, we could question one’s humanness since we haven’t experienced the same. The incidents in the film transcend the human ration and can only be explained by the deictic principles.
The modern zombie fascination can hardly be attributed to the many films that we watch but rather have some religious roots. Our love for zombies is not natural, but it is attached to a religious charm or rather a supernatural belief. David Murphy, an author of the popular film Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead, admits that his faith is founded on zombies. Murphy argues that Zombies are similar to human beings and the only aspect that makes them different is the presence of souls in human beings. A more precise statement of this would be that when the soul of an individual disappears through death, they simply become zombies. Zombies are human beings who have lost track of their souls.
There are limitless bonds between the zombies and religion apart from the obvious one that they are humans lacking a spirit (Zombies). Ideally, it is our high spirits that prevent us from acting in a similar way as the zombies. Devoid of our souls, we would be performing questionable acts. Even with our souls, we at times act like zombies. We act violently just like the zombies do. Cases of murder are not rare in the current world. The only difference in the extents is that zombies eat the human flesh. But this presupposition is currently losing its validity. There have been cases of humans eating their fellows. Could this be some sort of transformation? Manslaughter is slowly becoming the order of the day with some legislation justifying it. This makes me question the legal systems which practice capital punishment.
After watching the full movie Romero’s full movie, Night of the Living Dead, I constructed a relationship between the zombie apocalypse and the religious Armageddon (Ahmed). As per the religious beliefs, something closer to the events in the film ought to occur at the end of the world. There is a lot that can be perceived from both the initial scene and the final scene. At first, Johnny is trying to rescue his sister Barbra from a ghoul. It is quite fascinating how the same Johnny comes to consume the flesh of the hiding lot, and Barbra happens to be among them. This is the same picture that crosses my mind anytime some religious themes are mentioned. Are we moving towards a Zombie Theology? I am quite certain that this religious significance to the allure of zombies’ dawn is a plural entity. Isn’t there a relation or more precisely a grapple between the zombie films and religious subjects such as the nature of the human spirit, eternity and the end of the world?
There is a correlation between the Christian resurrection and the transformation of zombies after death. Several characters in the film die but later emerge in a different form. I could attribute this to some Christian biblical teachings and practices. Jesus in the bible died and resurrected in three days. There are also cases of people like Lazarus being ‘woken up’ from the dead. Isn’t this similar to what happens to the zombies?
Zombies are religious, but we can hardly attach them to a specific religious group. Research shows that the brain-dead humans are 33 percent and 22 percent Muslims. When they believe apocalypse, they allude to the Christian resurrection and eternity, and when they talk of killing or converting all unbelievers, they allude to Islam. There is biblical evidence that these unusual creatures are Christians, Jesus said, “Eat my flesh, and drink my blood” (John 6:51-56). Similarly, zombies portray a strict adherence to their beliefs just like the Muslims. The Quran says that the non-believers should be introduced to Islam and if they deny they should be killed.
In religion, we often ask the question of redemption at the end times. Our religious traditions emphasize on the teachings that there is no one beyond redemption. Zombie theology shows resemblance to this. Just like in the film of the Night of the Living Dead no one managed to escape. This is parallel to the religious beliefs. This dismisses the belief that zombies are inhumane creatures exiled from humanity.We live in a period when we often talk about ‘zombie institutions’ and ‘zombie employees.’ The economic status of our states is equated to a zombie phenomenon; ‘walking dead’ (Pastor). This creates, even more, apprehension about ‘apocalypse’ in this case depicting sheltered social structures falling apart. This is majorly in the face of economic disintegration. Garver argues that zombies are an exact replica of the unrelenting human desire. At this critical state, no one can save their fellows, not even the authorities. But what transpires when there is no God to rescue us? We all become equal beings devoid of the social morals. The will of acting morally at this stage no longer matters. The governments and the militia too become a stew to the zombies.