On Becoming a vampire without being bitten

A recent psychological study titled “Becoming a vampire without being bitten: A new study shows that reading expands our self-concepts” says that reading about becoming a vampire, or Harry Potter’s school of wizarding, helps us to psychologically feel we are part of a community and satisfies a need for belonging. While I’m not sure I agree with the description of the study’s methods, I find that the thesis resonates with me. Part of the need for belonging (which they don’t state) is belonging in a special group and ties to magic and the supernatural do that quite well. I think when we read we want to see ourselves simultaneously as belonging and set apart. We want to be the chosen people. Christianity is a religion that focuses on literacy, and the telling of Christ’s story. In that story we learn that Christians become “spiritual Jews” by believing in him. We can’t grow fangs, and we can’t learn to cast spells–but we can learn to be better people, to practice love, to be less selfish, to share what we have with others. We can become a part of the chosen people by making ourselves better, and thereby satisfy our spiritual longings in a way that Edward Cullen can’t match.

This entry was posted in science fiction, Theology, writing. Bookmark the permalink.