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Emmanuel College

Riverview Room

Sir William MacGregor Drive

Saint Lucia, QLD 4067

Australia

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In this presentation, Dr Tan will interface postmodern pop culture and its technological context with Christian theology. Dr Tan will explore the fascination with the undead, in particular the fascination with zombies, in contemporary culture. The argument put forward is that the zombie is not just another addition to the monster genre. Instead, the zombie is a theologically-inflected embodiment of both the desires and apprehensions of postmodern culture that is, without realising it, striving towards an imminent, technologically enhanced form of immortality by manufacturing a heaven without God.

Put another way, postmodern cultures - and the cities that house them - desire to bring the glory of immortality into history, whilst suspecting at the same time the inability of mere mortals to bear such a burden. This tension is born out in the pithy Freudian concept of the “Death Drive," transmitted via Jacques Lacan by the materialist theology of Slavoj Žižek.

This presentation will briefly outline the problematique the “Death Drive” poses to postmodern culture, and will then conclude by considering how the Economy of Salvation by Jesus of Nazareth addresses this problematique - not by erasing it, but by fulfilling the desires that swirl within the “Death Drive.”

Dr Matthew John Paul Tan

Dr Matthew Tan is an adjunct Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Australia, and is the private secretary of Bishop Tony Randazzo, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney. Matthew is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University in Chicago, under the directorship of Professor William Cavanaugh. Matthew is the author of two books, his most recent being Redeeming Flesh: The Way of the Cross with Zombie Jesus (Cascade, 2016), and Justice, Unity and the Hidden Christ (Pickwick, 2014). He is also the editor of the theological blog, The Divine Wedgie, which is part of the Patheos Catholic blog channel.

A light lunch will be served at this seminar from 12.00pm.

Car parking is available at the College. Enter via gate 4 on Sir William MacGregor Drive and park on the grassed area.

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Emmanuel College

Riverview Room

Sir William MacGregor Drive

Saint Lucia, QLD 4067

Australia

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