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Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale… (2003)

by James B. South (Editor)

Other authors: Andrew Aberdein (Contributor), Wendy Love Anderson (Contributor), Toby Daspit (Contributor), Greg Forster (Contributor), Richard Greene (Contributor)19 more, Jacob M. Held (Contributor), Thomas Hibbs (Contributor), Jason Kawal (Contributor), Sharon M. Kaye (Contributor), Neal King (Contributor), Carolyn Korsmeyer (Contributor), James Lawler (Contributor), Michael P. Levine (Contributor), Tracy Little (Contributor), Mimi Marinucci (Contributor), Melissa M. Milavec (Contributor), Jessica Prata Miller (Contributor), Madeline M. Muntersbjorn (Contributor), Jeffrey L. Pasley (Contributor), Gregory J. Sakal (Contributor), Steven Jay Schneider (Contributor), Karl Schudt (Contributor), Scott R. Stroud (Contributor), Wayne Yuen (Contributor)

Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
813620,883 (3.77)5
Twenty-three essays by young professional philosophers examine crucial ethical and metaphysical aspects of the Buffyverse (the world of Buffy). Though the show already attracted much scholarly attention, this is the first book to fully disinter the intellectual issues. Designed by Whedon as a multilevel story with most of its meanings deeply buried in heaps of heavy irony, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has replaced The X-Files as the show that explains to Americans the nature of the powerful forces of evil continually threatening to surge into our world of everyday decency and overwhelm it. In the tradition of the classic horror films Buffy the Vampire Slayer addresses ethical issues that have long fascinated audiences. This book draws out the ethical and metaphysical lessons from a pop-culture phenomenon.… (more)
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Some jewels in here, but very very uneven in overall quality. ( )
  redpersephone | Nov 21, 2015 |
An academic collection of essays and articles which applies philosophical theory to the popular television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This book is not for the casual fan. The concepts and themes are on a high intellectual level. Discussions are in-depth and not terribly enjoyable to read, but those looking for a deeper understanding of the show will be rewarded. Some essays will cause you to question your enjoyment of the show and some will challenge you to re-think your conception of your favorite characters. One in particular that got me thinking was Karl Schudt's "Also Spach Faith" which looks at the Nietzschean conception of happiness as it could be applied to Faith's behavior on both Buffy and Angel.
The oft taken for granted concept that Buffy is a feminist hero is also called into question by several authors, holding up a lens to ways in which Buffy reinforces patriarchal society even while kicking all that ass. Plus, far from being as subversive as most believe it to be, the show actually panders to typical Christian morality, even casting Buffy as a Christ-like savior in Season 5's "The Gift".
The editors should be applauded for including treatments which are critical of the show as well as those which praise it. However, die-hard "Joss can do no wrong" fans might become nonplussed after a comprehensive study of the text. Also, it is recommended that the reader does not attempt to devour the text in a protracted amount of time. A careful reading of each essay followed by some exploration into the concepts presented would be ideal. An entire collegiate class could be taught just using this as a textbook. Quite impressive. ( )
  EmScape | Aug 30, 2014 |
This was my second time reading through this collection - the first was when I bought it years ago. The first section is my favorite ("It's Kind of a Slayer thing: Buffy, Faith, and Feminism") and those essays are the ones I could read again and again. The ethics in science part is a little heavy for me, though. ( )
  sublunarie | Dec 7, 2009 |
If your a fan of the show, and I am, this book is great. ( )
  charlie68 | Jun 6, 2009 |
This is part of the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series. Each book takes a topic of popular culture (here the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and philosophers write an essay on some aspect of it. Excellent way for a reader to become acquainted with philosophy through something they already enjoy. Not every essay is worth reading, or enjoyable, but on the whole this was a very good book! ( )
  jshillingford | Jun 26, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
South, James B.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aberdein, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Wendy LoveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Daspit, TobyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Forster, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greene, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Held, Jacob M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hibbs, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kawal, JasonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaye, Sharon M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, NealContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Korsmeyer, CarolynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawler, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Levine, Michael P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Little, TracyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marinucci, MimiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Milavec, Melissa M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, Jessica PrataContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muntersbjorn, Madeline M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pasley, Jeffrey L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sakal, Gregory J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schneider, Steven JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schudt, KarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stroud, Scott R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Yuen, WayneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Si non confectus, non reficiat
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Thanks to the organized efforts of fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS), I know that the origins of this book can be traced to April 21st, 1997, when I watched my first episode of the series.
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Twenty-three essays by young professional philosophers examine crucial ethical and metaphysical aspects of the Buffyverse (the world of Buffy). Though the show already attracted much scholarly attention, this is the first book to fully disinter the intellectual issues. Designed by Whedon as a multilevel story with most of its meanings deeply buried in heaps of heavy irony, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has replaced The X-Files as the show that explains to Americans the nature of the powerful forces of evil continually threatening to surge into our world of everyday decency and overwhelm it. In the tradition of the classic horror films Buffy the Vampire Slayer addresses ethical issues that have long fascinated audiences. This book draws out the ethical and metaphysical lessons from a pop-culture phenomenon.

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