One of the signs that we live in a culture of death is our obsession with “dead things” like zombies. The presence of these “undead” or “living dead” is ubiquitous, pervading books, video games, TV and movies.
Lest we are tempted to think these creatures a passing fad, the economics say otherwise: they generate an estimated $15 billion industry. So what are we to make of the undead? What does the Church teach about zombies? Nothing! Since they don’t really exist, there is no catechism paragraph we can turn to where they are mentioned. However, what is popular in the culture is often a good indicator of what is on the minds and hearts of people. It can point to the deeper questions of life that are eating at us. And to those questions, the Church does have an answer.
Stories and myths that may not be true can nonetheless communicate real spiritual truths. They may do this through depicting the “true, good and beautiful” and its opposite: the “false, bad and ugly.” Sometimes the opposite or inversion of something that is true can powerfully teach about the truth. When it comes to the zombie myth, what spiritual truths can they highlight?