Saturday, October 30, 2010

Christ’s evil twin? The vampire’s religious roots

It takes more than a theological stake to the heart to kill the vampire legend.
Stories of dark-eyed seducers who prey on unsuspecting victims to suck their blood have persisted for more than five centuries. They have haunted our dreams and films, moving from place to place. And they are reborn in every generation. Today these parasites-on-the-living seemingly are everywhere.
From the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books and films to the current HBO saga, “True Blood,” fascination with these so-called creatures of the night permeates contemporary life, albeit in modern forms. Thousands of living Americans even consider themselves vampires.
So why is this mythic figure so long-lived and potent?
Sigmund Freud said vampires represent our repressed sexuality and aggression, while Carl Jung argued that they are a universal type of “shadow,” or dark side of the human personality. They embody aspects of ourselves that we reject, hide or are ashamed to confront.