Religion Course Discusses Biblical Texts and Zombies

Students enrolled in one Central Michigan University course are studying zombies, and will be examining biblical texts as well as the apocalyptic themes found in popular books and movies.

The course, titled "From Revelation to 'The Walking Dead,'" is being taught by philosophy and religion professor Kelly Murphy. Murphy is a fan of AMC's hit show "The Walking Dead," according to a press release, and has always wanted to teach an apocalyptic literature course.

"The prevalence of apocalyptic stories in various media gives us a window into what people are worrying about, what they hope for and how they imagine they would react in the face of a cataclysmic event," said Murphy. "In the same way, we can read the Book of Revelation or other ancient apocalyptic texts and learn what ancient Jewish and Christian groups were concerned about and what kind of world they hoped might exist."

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The class will examine the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation, among other ancient texts. Students will also watch clips from movies such as "Shaun of the Dead" and examine novels such as World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, which has been adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt.

Devon Wright, a student who is taking the course, says the first few weeks of class were spent talking about the history of zombies and watching clips from films about the undead.

"I think the professor is dealing with religion in a way where we're talking about the Bible in a hands-on, easy-to-understand way," said Wright in a statement. "I think most of the students aren't even religion majors. Most of them just have an interest in zombies."

CMU is not the only post-secondary school that has offered a class addressing the topic of zombies. Michigan State University, the University of Baltimore, Columbia College Chicago and Bridgewater College in Virginia are among the other colleges and universities that have offered zombie-related courses.

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