Sectarian Review 3: The Ethical Imagination of Horror

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In this Godzilla-sized episode, Danny Anderson and Drew Van’tland are joined by Ed Simon to talk about the intersections between horror, religion, and ethics. This month’s Sectarians talk horror films, Nietzsche, H.P. Lovecraft, Flies, Babadooks, and, James Robertson’s The Testament of Gideon Mack. Also, Danny interviews Dr. Jamie McDaniel of Pittsburg State University about horror, liminality, and Disability Studies. Also listen for a couple of aural surprises!

2 comments for “Sectarian Review 3: The Ethical Imagination of Horror

  1. 16 November 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Based on your recommendation, I just watched The Babadook.  Great googally moogally, that was the best horror film I’ve seen since The Conjuring!  I want to gush about the film, but anything I say would be spoilers, so anyone reading this who either likes intelligently-written horror, or wants to see a movie about the destructive power of grief, WATCH THIS FILM.

    You briefly talked about theoretical approaches to horror.  My dissertation involved existential psychology, so that’s generally how I roll.  Can anyone recommend a good existential approach to understanding the appeal and power of the horror genre?

  2. DannyAnderson
    17 November 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Charles H Glad you liked the movie and thanks for the feedback!

    As to your question about existential approaches to horror, I do feel that Kafka’s nightmarishness is a good place to start thinking about how horror gets at terrifying questions of human existence. In addition, look for Noel Carroll’s work. He has a book called The Philosophy of Horror that (in a very British way) categorizes horror as a genre. His project might help you think about existentialism as horror engages with it. 

    And from the psychoanalytic perspective, Barbara Creed’s The Monstrous Feminine utterly changed the way I look at horror films.

    Best wishes, 


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