Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse

Hardcover | May 4, 2017

byGreg Garrett

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When humankind faces what it perceives as a threat to its very existence, a macabre thing happens in art, literature, and culture: corpses begin to stand up and walk around. The dead walked in the fourteenth century, when the Black Death and other catastrophes roiled Europe. They walked inimages from World War I, when a generation died horribly in the trenches. They walked in art inspired by the Holocaust and by the atomic attacks on Japan. Now, in the early twenty-first century, the dead walk in stories of the zombie apocalypse, some of the most ubiquitous narratives of post-9/11Western culture. Zombies appear in popular movies and television shows, comics and graphic novels, fiction, games, art, and in material culture including pinball machines, zombie runs, and lottery tickets. The zombie apocalypse, Greg Garrett shows us, has become an archetypal narrative for the contemporary world, in part because zombies can stand in for any of a variety of global threats, from terrorism to Ebola, from economic uncertainty to ecological destruction. But this zombie narrative alsobrings us emotional and spiritual comfort. These apocalyptic stories, in which the world has been turned upside down and protagonists face the prospect of an imminent and grisly death, can also offer us wisdom about living in a community, present us with real-world ethical solutions, and invite usinto conversation about the value and costs of survival. We may indeed be living with the living dead these days, but through the stories we consume and the games we play, we are paradoxically learning what it means to be fully alive.

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When humankind faces what it perceives as a threat to its very existence, a macabre thing happens in art, literature, and culture: corpses begin to stand up and walk around. The dead walked in the fourteenth century, when the Black Death and other catastrophes roiled Europe. They walked inimages from World War I, when a generation died...

Greg Garrett is Professor of English at Baylor University, where he teaches classes in fiction and screenwriting, literature, film and popular culture, and theology. The author or co-author of twenty books of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, Dr. Garrett is (according to BBC Radio), one of America's leading voices on religion and cultur...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:228 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 4, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190260459

ISBN - 13:9780190260453

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