The Theology of Twilight?

New MoonI’m not actually going try and link up Stephanie Meyer‘s Twilight novels to Christian Theology. That would be silly and, I’m sure, quite against the intent of those novels. That being said, there was an interesting comment by Bella about Edward in New Moon that actually made me think about Christology.

It never made sense for you to love me.

Throughout the novels Bella doesn’t see herself as worthy of Edward’s love. Her perceptions of herself and of Edward color her understanding of love. Now again, I am not suggesting that you look for theological points in Twilight, but I felt there was a bridge between Bella’s statement and our relationship to God.

We are a fallen people. We screw up, we sin, we hurt people, we hurt ourselves, we hurt God. It truly does not make sense for God to love us. By all accounts, we are not lovable because of our offenses against God and His people. But because our failures have been laid on Christ on the Cross, he has made us lovable. Because He is truly lovable, we are truly, once and for all, lovable. It is only through Jesus that it makes sense for God to love us.

I cannot believe I (1) admitted I have been reading the Twilight series and (2) talked about it in any sort of serious post! I’m kind of embarrassed…

Categories: Reading, Theology Tags: , ,
  1. October 14th, 2008 at 11:06 | #1

    Just googled “theology twilight” and your blog came right up. I’m actually thinking about discussing this with our youth group Sunday night, because the books are so wildly popular with the girls. (only a couple of token boys in this group). So if you have other thoughts - I love thinking about it not making sense for God to love us - and I also think there is plenty to chew on in the Twilight themes of sacrifice, self-image, our true identity, etc. etc. I’m also kind of embarrassed that I got so into these books when I decided to read them to keep up with what the kids were reading!

  2. October 21st, 2008 at 15:28 | #2

    I *love* that you’re reading this series! It’s one of my all time favorites!

  3. October 24th, 2008 at 11:29 | #3

    I just found out what this Twilight series is and I would like to point my finger and say “haha!” to you.

    On the other hand, my Mercedes Lackey collection keeps me from establishing any sort of moral high ground on the issue of reading tastes.

  4. salmypal
    October 24th, 2008 at 11:42 | #4

    I’ve heard of these books only because my niece, K.C., was reading them and they happened to shoot the film for the first book at her school…Kalama High School. Maybe I should check ‘em out?

  5. October 24th, 2008 at 16:59 | #5

    Haha, I love that there is such a range of emotions about Twilight out there.

    And I have pointed my own finger at myself and said “haha!”

    Sal you could probably read through these in a day and have one (or all) of the following reactions: 1) I wish I had that time of my life back or 2) I’m glad it only took a short time to read or 3) eh, that was a pretty fun read without too much commitment or baggage.

  6. Jinda
    November 8th, 2008 at 10:46 | #6


    I caught your reference to the “Twilight ” series -
    Many students (girls 11-12 yrs old) are consuming these voraciously in my 6th grade classroom - I tried to ‘vet the series (w/o reading it) to see if it was appropriate to allow as independent reading in the classroom.

    I guess if you are discussing it in a Christian context, it can’t be THAT bad or inapporpriate for the youngsters!


  7. November 10th, 2008 at 17:36 | #7

    It is a pretty tame series and actually is able to look at morality in some interesting ways (related to areas of killing, obviously, friendship, and even some “old fashioned” things like premarital sex). The main view is from an 18 year old girl, so it isn’t perfect by any means. But the books are tame. Most libraries, including our middle school library, have no real problems endorsing it.

    Really, a lot of middle school girls like it because they want Edward. He is the ideal… I suppose…

  8. Rick
    August 28th, 2009 at 13:11 | #8

    This thread seems long dead, but in case others come across it as I have I thought I would leave a thought. It has been interesting to read reactions to the Twilight Series. I guess in terms of content the series is “tame,” but in terms of Christian worldview it does violence.

    The very cover of the first book suggests the Garden of Eden and the tasting of the forbidden fruit. “Come and taste,” it suggests. And what is it that is being sampled?

    That which is defined as most beautiful is that which was made in the image of God remade in the image of death. Edward, once a man but now a vampire, is the most beautiful thing in the world to Bella. As a vampire he has died and now lives immortally inhuman. Bella is willing to undergo the same transformation in order to live forever with him in “love.” By contrast, Christianity presents humanity as created in the image of God, this image marred by the effects of sin and restored in Christ. Living forever in loving relationship to God through Christ does not require our death but was provided through His. As a result when we die once we will live eternally alive rather than in the eternally dead state in which Edward lives. That will be a life of joy and perfected nature lived in alignment with the will and purpose of God rather than a life which at best shows Edward doing all he can do to suppress the lust and violence that is now Edward’s nature.

    I love to read, and read a wide variety of literature. There are normally themes that can be construed positively, but we must be aware of the whole that is being presented through any medium. Our first questions should always ask what something communicates about God, man, sin, and salvation. Twilight takes what is Christian and turns it on its head. It would be a travesty for Christendom to label this series as tame and neutral when it so obviously isn’t.

  9. Keri
    November 4th, 2009 at 01:36 | #9

    Rick, I agree with your idea that the whole Twilight series “takes what is Christian and turns it on its head.”

    It mixes the ideas of post-marital sex, something Edward insists on for spiritual reasons - arguing that he wants to keep Bella’s soul pure and maybe collect one less sin on his long list, with the consummation of Bella becoming a Vampire. Edward trades the “gift” of being the one who will transform her, something Bella deeply desires, for her agreement to marry him. In the final book, Bella’s transformation takes about three agonizing days from the time she dies as a human until she is reborn as a vampire, so there’s a possible parallel being drawn to Christ’s descent into Hell followed by His resurrection. And the bizarre, impossible pregnancy and rapid birth of Bella’s child, her immediate acceptance of her fate as its mother and quick willingness to drink human blood during her pregancy added to her psychic connection to her “one-of-a-kind” child once she’s born can be looked at as an attempt to draw a comparison between Bella and the Virgin Mary and the special connection she had with our Lord.

    Moral questions that bothered me included Edward’s early admission to Bella that he’d killed people and her instant, infatuated response that “it doesn’t matter.” The marriage ceremony makes no mention of God, and Bella decides that she’s thrilled to be married because it means she gets to keep Edward as hers forever, like a possession..not the point of a spiritual marriage. And then there’s the allure of young physical extreme beauty that never ends in the vampire world, which fits with secular society’s youth and physical perfection obsession today, that’s being sold to kids as something to be desired. Bella is a smart, beautiful human girl who doesn’t think of herself as worthwhile or particularly attractive until she’s immortal; suddenly then she’s happy with her superself and finally feels worthy of her “perfect” Edward.

    Are the books entertaining and romantic? Yes. But there’s lot there to worry about, I’d say, if I were leading a Christian youth book discussion on them.

  1. November 30th, 2013 at 23:37 | #1