Kelly J. Baker: The Zombies Are Coming!
I have looked at the world a bit differently since meeting Dr. Kelly J. Baker. I noticed her on a U.S. Religion blog, and when I read that she was an expert on religion, race, and zombies, I invited her out for coffee.
Kelly explained to me how our monsters tell us about a culture. The myths give us boundaries—telling us not to wander out in the woods or into certain neighborhoods.
Then Kelly taught me to ask questions of different zombie stories—and ourselves. Who survives? Why are the survivors so often white? Where are the women in the story? How do people respond to a crisis? Do they build a wall? Do they stockpile weapons? Do they hoard food and supplies? Why do we imagine that will be our response? What do we do with people who don’t quite look like us? Why do we long for an apocalypse so much—in our religion and in our movies? What does imagining the end of the world do for us? What happens when reality and fantasy get mixed up in our minds?
When I read Kelly’s ebook, The Zombies Are Coming!, I knew we needed to have her on God Complex Radio. We talk about many of these question on our podcast. But first we had to ask Dr. Baker a few ridiculous questions that we got from our Twitter followers, like, “What’s the pastoral response to a Zombie who wants to be baptized?”
You can listen to the interview here or download it from iTunes.