Born Again Heathenism: Enchanted worlds on film

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

The article discusses films with fantastic elements using evolutionary psychology. The fascination with the fantastic on film is a by-product of different evolutionary mental adaptations, like the interest in causality with the purpose of control that create interest in fantastic violation of naturalist expectations;  the horror fear of being preyed upon by powerful agents (animals or other humans) and the fear of contamination from dead bodies; and the need to enforce moral supervision and submission to powerful others to enhance group cohesion, and these functions get a powerful emphasis by invention of supernatural agents. The prominence of supernaturalism in media is not necessarily linked to an increase in religious interest vis à vis science but could also be caused by a diminished 'heresy control' allowing media to exploit a range of innate dispositions of being intrigued by different supernatural phenomena that might be called 'heathen' because it often reuses all kinds of folk superstitions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Media Studies.
Pages (from-to)45-58
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - evolutionary theory, supernaturalism, enchantment, film melodrama, fantasy films, horror films

ID: 9016901