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Christian symbols and vampires

Discussion in 'Season 1' started by bespangeled, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Sorry - obviously I meant Christian....

    From the beginning of the Buffyverse it is understood that crosses and holy water will hurt vampires. That gives Christian dominated countries some degree of safety - some ability to defend themselves. Remember that Willow had to put a cross on her wall - apparently because Jewish symbols would have no effect.

    So what about countries where Christianity is a small fringe religion, if it exists at all? Would a Muslim crescent moon be dangerous to vamps? What about a statue of Shiva or Ganesh? Or Buddha? In some countries even owning a cross can be problematic.

    And - if there is no religious defense against vampires in other countries - why do vampires even bother living (undying?) in Christian countries and ignore the buffet on tap through most of the world?
     
    ILLYRIAN: buffet? (on tap) Oh right.. the posh way of pronouncing Buffy
    Taake: Fixed it for ya :)
    Wesley Pryce: great question,been wondering about this one for years now
  2. Kean

    Kean Professional Bangel

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    Sineya
    Well everywhere has fire, sunlight, pointy sticks and access to sharp weapons that can be used to behead. All of which are much more deadly than a cross and holy water which are more like deterrents than actual weapons to cause fatal harm.
     
  3. ILLYRIAN

    ILLYRIAN Druish Pervonian Wizard

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    Black Thorn
    The modern tales of vampires and the like have probably gained infamy due to a book called Dracula. At that time if you wanted the religions not to stake you it was best to have religious objects as killers of demons, hence keeping them quiet.

    Now if you want to bring in about the series, did you ever stop to think about Giles' big speech about how demons ruled the world. Or maybe you considered when was the first slayer created, or did you ponder how many thousands of years passed until there was religion with stuff like the cross or holy water?
     
  4. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    I have read several articles explaining the actual origin of vampires, their aversion to Christian symbols, and their various weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

    This is one version of the story found at:

    http://trevorvelazquez.edublogs.org/2013/05/02/the-actual-origin-of-vampires/


    The Actual Origin Of Vampires!
    Posted on May 2, 2013

    The actual first mentioning of undead walking the earth is the bible first as Jesus rising from the dead as a "zombie" and second as Judas forced to walk the world forever in the shadows as the first "vampire". to most people this makes the entire mythology surrounding vampires make a lot more seance with the aversion to silver, holly water, a cross and if you get a little bit into it even a stake to the heart.

    Now there are a few beliefs as to how exactly Judas becomes a vampire the first belief and most common is that god cursed Judas and his family to walk the earth forever condemned to the shadows until the second coming of Jesus and until that time he would thirst for the blood of Jesus which of course he could only receive through mankind which Jesus had sacrificed himself for, because of this it was thought that those that committed suicide would also become vampires because taking of any life is a sin and those that committed suicide were especially punished. Perhaps the most common of the vampire myths is the belief that a vampire can be destroyed by a stake to the heart more precisely a stake of aspen wood. Aspen is the wood that it is believed the cross upon which Jesus died was made of and the tree that he hung himself from It was believed that because Judas had ultimately caused Jesus' and his own death he would be repelled by the item of his demise.The final folk belief about vampires that is attributed to the Judas Iscariot myths is the belief that vampires are repelled by silver. It is believed that since Judas himself cast aside the silver which he had taken when he sold out Jesus that he now had a repulsion to the substance and as such was repelled by it. "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." (Matthew 27:3-5)
    This entry was posted in Uncategorized by 13velazquezt. Bookmark the permalink.
    2 tho

    This version would seem to give a reasonable explanation as to why vampires would have an aversion to symbols of Christianity, but not to symbols of other religions.
     
  5. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    True - but is the average person gonna be able to stake a vampire? Or behead it? Take for a midday stroll? Those are tools a slayer has or a hunter (Wood). Most people can only thrust a cross out and run like hell - hoping there is someone easier to chew on. It's sort of the regular person safety kit - not perfect but it's all there is.

    ---------- Post added at 07:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:11 PM ----------

    That's it exactly. We do know that vampires were consider pure demon - it was only after people were turned that the half demon hybrids were part of the picture.

    And yes - these are all the old superstitions from the western view. There are actually plenty of others - hairs on a dead cat, etc. But the show endorses only these as possibilities. What would the non european possibilities?

    ---------- Post added at 07:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:16 PM ----------

    WA - That is a vampire origin myth. In fact, every culture has one. The myths extend back to Mesopotamia - and probably before the written word. In fact, I just found out that ancient Hebrews had a talisman to wear specifically against vampires which has their progenitors secret name. Vampires on the brain - really anything that could suck out life essence, some that can even be staked.

    I am in no way offended by the fact Christian symbols work. But if only Christian symbols work, then the rest of the world is kinda screwed. S0 - considering the whole world has vampires - what else might repel them?
     
  6. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    What I want to know, do Communion wafers have some effect? In one the first episode's you see Buffy pulling out her weapons and there is a jar of wafers in the chest. Are they there for a Slayer snack? What would happen if a vampire ate one?
     
  7. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Different show, but I love the way they make holy water on Supernatural. Just drop a crucifix or a rosary in water. No priest or no blessing needed. So, I assume communion wafers are just bread until blessed. I wonder what story they would come up with to get a jar of the things from the church.
     
  8. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    I wonder if it's part of the standard Slayer kit. Stake, cross, holy water, and hey it could be that the Slayer is Christian, maybe the wafers are just supposed to be there for her. Although, I wonder why nobody ever used Holy water super shakers.
     
  9. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Gotta be Catholic for holy water and wafers, I believe - maybe Episcopalian as well.

    I wonder if a Hindu raised vampire would have the same reaction to some of the Hindu deities (which make up one deity really). Shiva might be an encouragement - but Ganesh? Maybe we've simply seen only vamps from Christian dominant countries.
     
  10. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    It's gotta be connected to the origin of vampires, or the origin of Christianity, for all we know, Jesus may have been a vampire and his apostles figured out how to imbue symbols associated with him, with magic.

    Don't forget the Orthodox churches.
     
  11. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    I know that it's not the only vampire myth, I was just posting it to illustrate why, traditionally, vampires are repelled by Christian artifacts.
     
  12. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    Bram Stoker's original story of Dracula is heavily loaded with Roman Catholic religious imagery and theology. I would assume that vampire stories descended from that (and they all are) would retain some of the definitions of salvation, perdition, religious objects and the items of the Eucharist and show them as actually being effective. Also, there is one scene in BtVS where Angel enters a church and talks to a nun who says, "I never expected to see one of your kind here" (maybe someone could point out the episode for me), indicating that a nun might have an inherent sense of what a vampire is.

    Holy water was shown to burn a vampire but the only vampire death was Kralik from drinking it (in "Helpless 3ABB12"). We do not see communion wafers used anywhere even if they are part of a slayer's ordnance.
     
  13. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    Ethan Reigns, that makes sense.

    Going for an in-universe explanation

    Jesus as a vampire, turned after he was crucified. Vampires probably loved people like that, easy blood and all.

    It explains the resurrection, and the apostles couldn't kill him (Jesus taught non-violence) so they had to find a way to protect themselves and others from him.

    It also explains why he didn't appear to multitudes after he came back.

    And the Holy spirit stems from his eventual dusting.
     
  14. ILLYRIAN

    ILLYRIAN Druish Pervonian Wizard

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    Black Thorn
    Why would a slayer carry wafers?
    Given that most slayers were slim and athletic, I'm assuming they weren't big eaters. So, if they did get hungry in the field a few wafers may have sufficed.
     
  15. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    Do they make holy peanut butter to go with the holy wafers?
     
    ILLYRIAN: Yes but only the very crunchy type, which is why vampires are allergic to nuts, 'as in oh crap I just broke a tooth'. They might use others words instead of crap, but this is a family friendly place.
  16. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    That's what I'm trying to figure out, why did Buffy have a jar of them in either "Welcome to the Hellmouth" or "The Harvest"
     
  17. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    These wafers were not food, they were one of the two elements of the Eucharist where Jesus had said that wine was his blood, drink of it in memory of me and bread is my flesh, eat it in memory of me at the Last Supper. The bread eventually became wafers due to the need to keep costs down in a church and most churches use grape juice in small shot glasses rather than wine to avoid problems for alcoholics. These are symbolic items of a Christian's connection with Jesus and the size of the item is not important.

    Holy water comes from later Christian practice as well for baptism and other uses. It would be difficult to get wafers into a vampire - they generally drink without eating and could spit it out. As Angel finds in "I Will Remember You", his sense of taste was not at all developed as a vampire - he had no idea chocolate was as good as it is, so eating was not the pleasure that humans get from it. Holy water was used to burn vampires and repel them in the same sense that a cross did.

    BTW we see slayers as slim and athletic, but Faith could pack a good meal away and drink other people under the table as well.
     
  18. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    Ethan, thanks for the explanation, but it still doesn't answer why Buffy had them.

    I wonder, if a Slayer drank a bunch of Holy water, and then a vampire drank from her, would that work like when Kralik drank a glass of it.
     
  19. chasesummers

    chasesummers Cordy Lives

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    Like entities, anything purely blessed would react against vampires in this case.
     
  20. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Oooh - I like that one so much that I won't even mention that crosses were not a symbol of Christianity for several centuries. It was fish - Jesus the fisher of men - I suspect I have that phrase wrong. Puts a whole new twist on religious visitations!

    ---------- Post added at 11:35 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:34 AM ----------

    Like elven-bread, but not elven. :cool:

    ---------- Post added at 11:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 AM ----------

    And we go full circle. To Christians these are purely blessed, but if you live in Saudi Arabia the idea of purely blessed is quite different. And a burqa would also be one hella good place to hide from the sun.