Tanya Erzen

Exposing the Audacious Project to Make Christian Converts in America's Prisons

The following is an excerpt from the new book God in Captivity: The Rise of Faith-Based Ministries in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Tanya Erzen (Beacon Press, 2017). Reprinted with permission from Beacon Press:

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How Twilight Offers Fans the Magic Missing from Organized Religion

Last November, I sat in a theatre in South Jordan, Utah with 4,000 Twilight Moms who had gathered for the weekend to celebrate the release of New Moon after two days of raucous pre-film festivities. As I sat watching Eclipse, the newest film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s blockbuster Twilight series (in the six days since it opened, Eclipse has grossed $176.4 million), it wasn’t the wolves, newborn vampire army, fight sequences, love triangle or brief appearance by the Volturi that I found mesmerizing. It was the fans seated around me. They had come to watch the film after holding their own red carpet events at home, sharing Eclipse-theme dinners, exchanging flowers with one another, reciting lines from the book, donning golden vampire contact lenses, holding sleepovers, and wearing t-shirts bearing slogans with variations on favorite quotes: “Edward Cullen, I Promise to Love You Every Moment of Forever.” The women and girls in Ohio were just part of the millions in the fanpire worldwide who have built imaginative social worlds around the film premiere and the series in general.

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Happy Holidays!