The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God   -     By: Elaine A. Heath
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The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God

Westminster John Knox Press / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

The Twilight saga has become one of the most successful fictional series ever written, with more than one hundred million copies in print and several box office blockbusters. Despite Twilight's tremendous commercial success, few readers have analyzed its theological teachings or the messages Stephanie Meyer might be sending to women and teenage girls. This book offers both a feminist critique of Twilight and a theological review of the stories' ideas about salvation, heaven and hell, power, reconciliation, resurrection, and organized religion. Includes discussion questions for youth and adult groups.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0664236782
ISBN-13: 9780664236786
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Gospel According to

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Publisher's Description

The Twilight saga has become one of the most successful fiction series ever written, with more than one hundred million copies in print and several blockbuster films. Despite the tremendous commercial success Twilight has generated, few readers have analyzed its theological teachings or the messages Stephenie Meyer might be sending to women and teenage girls. This book offers both a feminist critique of Twilight and a theological review of the stories' ideas about salvation, heaven and hell, power, reconciliation, resurrection, and organized religion.

Elaine Heath writes in an accessible voice, calling attention to both the "good news" of Twilight's theology and the "bad news" of its gender stereotypes and depictions of violence against women.

The book includes questions for youth and adult groups or for classroom discussions.

Author Bio

Elaine A. Heath is Associate Professor of Evangelism at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. She is the author of We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse and The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach. An active participant in Emergent Village and the emerging church conversation, she is the cofounder of New Day, a new monastic community in Dallas, Texas. She is an ordained Methodist minister.

Editorial Reviews

"Heath's The Gospel according to Twilight is riveting. Her conversational style will draw fans who are dying for intelligent discussion of this beloved series, and newcomers hoping for an astute yet accessible overview of the major questions about gender and theology relevant to Twilight." Donna Freitas, author of Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America's College Campuses


"Twilight is so popular because it gets at deep questions about what it means to be female. Join Heath for a fascinating conversation about vampires and the pressing questions of feminist theology!" Beth Felker Jones, Wheaton College, and author of Touched by a Vampire: Discovering the Hidden Messages in the Twilight Saga


"Heath, a theologian, evangelism professor, pastor, and self-described 'lover of good stories,' does the Twilight saga justice at the same time that she critiques its glamorization of gender stereotypes with their potential for violence and abuse. To top it all off, Heath writes with an elegance and edge that make her book as much of a page turner as the series on which it is based." Alyce M. McKenzie, Perkins School of Theology


"Heath's balanced approach to theology and gender in the Twilight Saga is enlightening and highly readable. A must read for lovers of Twilight and for anyone who has wondered about the worldview underlying the stories." Susannah Clements, Regent University, and author of The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero


"Clearly, Heath has done her homework. Her weaving of gospel themes within the Twilight story itself is inspiring and gives further insight to both the books and to a contemporary understanding of the gospel itself. An engaging, creative read that is timely for those looking to connect their faith to popular culture." Ryan K. Bolger, Fuller Theological Seminary


"The paradoxical nature of the Twilight saga is helpfully explored in Elaine Heath's winsome addition to the best-selling 'Gospel according to…' series. Here is a good read for fans and inquirers alike." Robert K. Johnston, Fuller Theological Seminary, and author of Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue

"Eager to understand the Twilight phenomenon? Heath offers a generous appreciation of its vision of a peaceable kingdom where vampires, werewolves, and humans cooperate. For Twi-hard fans, Elaine Heath also offers a constructive critique of the gender roles and violence looming beneath Twilight's shimmering surfaces. The Gospel according to Twilight is smart, accessible, and insightful." Craig Detweiler, Pepperdine University, and editor of Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God

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  1. Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Seeing things through fresh eyes! LOVED this!
    August 17, 2012
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Being a huge Twilight fan due in part to my hopeful romantic heart I was captivated not at first when the series because a huge hit, but after years I watched the movies, followed by reading all the books as fast as I could inhale them. I am a Christian and find that in everything, we can look at things in through what some call Gospel eyes. We can see redeeming qualities in all things while others see only the black and white or good and bad in all things.

    I was particularly interested in the recent book The Gospel According to Twilight by Elaine A. Heath and what her take on this series of books and movies had to offer. Was there anything redeeming or have we been like lambs to the slaughter and simply mislead. I think she did a brilliant job and breaking down literally all aspects of what the books and movies have to show us, both good and bad and allow us to gain insight from seeing both signs of the proverbial coin.

    With this book comes the understanding of the author, Stephanie Meyers motivation behind the words and actions she describes in the book being a Mormon but also shows how even she deviates from the traditional LDS or Latter Day Saints theology. Elaine goes through each circumstance outlined in the book through a variety of theological teachings from Catholic, to Eastern Orthodox and parallels how we, as Christians, can use the Twilight series to reach women and girls and create a bridge of communication.

    There are many redeeming qualities in the book such as the family values that are highlighted in the Cullen (vampire) family. Carlisle, the father featured in the series, even though he is a vampire, chooses through self control to not seek his natural desire to feed on humans but instead feeds by drinking animal blood and now uses his skill as a doctor to help people. His wife, Esme is the proverbial good wife, utilizing her talents as a caregiver and mother to everyone. She even goes as far to make Bella an Italian meal when she first visits the Cullen family, even though they don't eat food. The entire Cullen family is the prime example of a loving family. The work together, they all get along great and protect one another when threats come calling.

    Each of the Cullen's have come from a human life previously filled with violence and now all seek to do good and extend grace thorough their life of mortality always seeing the good in everyone, including their rival vampires, werewolves and humans. Even Bella's lifestyle is analyzed about the consequences of coming from a divorced home and having parents living on opposites sides of the country. It shows us how Bella's detachment from what works in a marriage and family is distorted and why she wants to be a part of the Cullen's so passionately. She is accepted despite all her defects, as she sees them.

    Elaine Heath also provides insight in the downsides of the series and it allows readers to see why so many are adamant that this series does not belong in hands of believers. It does give you something to think about but I am a firm believer in what the enemy may chose to use for evil, God can turn it around for His glory and goodness. My personal beliefs are that this at least opens conversations up between believers and non believers and may create a great way to show people the love of Christ through this series of books where they may have been closed off before.

    I received The Gospel According to Twilight by Elaine A. Heath compliments of Westminster John Knox Press and Net Galley for my honest review and think this is well written. You don't just have a confirmation that this is the perfect series of books but a great line of thinking to consider in all things we chose to take part of in life. For that I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I think this would make a great Bible Study for a youth group in the coming months as the final saga of the series hits theaters. It may open doors for people to come to know Christ through talking about what this series offers both to young men and impressionable young women!
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