This week on Be Afraid, we consider the ways supernatural horror helps us fear rightly by offering an invitation to see and acknowledge the reality of supernatural evil (and then to consider what it would mean if it didn’t just feel true but was actually true). The genre not only highlights the ways in which evil is mysterious, uncontrollable, and beyond explanation, but in light of this mystery, it exposes us as vulnerable before the wholly other. Sharing in each others’ vulnerability is what makes compassion and empathy possible. But just a word of warning: Listener discretion is advised.

Joining us this week:
Scott Teems is a screenwriter and director of numerous films and TV shows.

Wes Craven is a well known American filmmaker who is considered by many to be the master of horror. Although Craven passed away in 2015, his influence lives on through interviews like the one we conducted at the Reel Spirituality Conference in 2001.

Scott Derrickson is a filmmaker whose projects include, among others, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Doctor Strange, and The Black Phone.

Pamela Ebstyne King is the Peter L. Benson Professor of Applied Developmental Science and the executive director of the Thrive Center for Human Development. King’s academic and applied efforts aim to promote a movement of human thriving that contributes to flourishing societies. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of thriving and spiritual development. She is passionate about understanding what individual strengths and environments enable diverse humans to grow individually, relationally, and aspirationally.

Resources Referenced:
A recent Ipsos poll found that 1 in 10 Americans report that they have seen an unidentified flying object (UFO), and 42 percent believe in UFOs.

More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture:
More from Uncommon Voices Collective:
More from Qoheleth:

“Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
Producer, Editor, Graphic Design: Stephen Scheidler
Producer: TJ Hester
Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoheleth