Transformative souls and transformed selves : 'Buffy', 'Angel' and the daimonic tale

Reynolds, James (2019) Transformative souls and transformed selves : 'Buffy', 'Angel' and the daimonic tale. In: Cusack, Carole M. , Morehead, John W. and Robertson, Venetia Laura Delano, (eds.) The sacred in fantastic fandom : essays on the intersection of religion and pop culture. Jefferson, U.S. : McFarland and Company. pp. 119-135. ISBN 9781476670836

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This essay explores one of the most significant factors in the continuing appeal of Buffy and Angel — the features of the sacred they employ in narrative arcs of character development, and the ritualistic interaction this creates with fans of the television shows. I argue that Buffy and Angel’s deployment of the idea of the soul produces a distinctive approach to identity, and I here use the concept of the daimonic as a framework for textual analysis. Their distinctive approach to identity begins with the idea of the soul as an essential self that can be separated from the body and relocated. These transportable identities support particular types of narrative, and thus help in recognising why these shows continue to appeal. These divisible and changeable selves also help us to understand the Buffy-verse’s style of horror. In combination, these features help us appreciate not only the ritual of watching and re-watching, but also the ways in which Buffy and Angel bring the religious themes of ancient, spiritual traditions into popular culture and fandom—with vital contemporaneity.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Area: Communication, cultural and media studies
Theology, divinity and religious studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Arts, Culture and Communication
Depositing User: James Reynolds
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 08:32
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 09:04

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