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Stephen King: Horror, Politics, Theology and Other Social Commentary


It is amazing to me how serious social commentary surfaces in films that are often dismissed as mere entertainment. A recent post from the message board for the Popular Culture Association that touched on research resources supporting the idea that popular cultural texts, such as Stephen King’s horror writings, now have become sources for articulating theological and theodical issues (a defense of God’s justice in the face of evil), led to my surfing the Internet today looking for my favorite clip from the film adaptation of King’s The Mist. Not only are King’s writings, and those of other writers of the fantasic and other forms of popular fiction expressive of the theological and theodical, they also find application to our political processes. We live in a time of great political and economic change and turmoil. Watching the clip associated with this post raises flags of warning for American culture, not only for the dangers posed by religion run amok, but for politics as well. We need to be careful not to create or become the monsters we fear and hope to keep in the closet, or at least under our beds. I do not offer these thoughts as a critique of any particular political party or commentary on the outcome of our recent election. Instead, consider this brief post food for thought in reflections on our election process and the great distance we have yet to travel as a country through the challenges we face at home and abroad.

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