Border Crossing with the Uninvited in Matthew’s Wedding Feast Parable and Jacques Tourneur’s 'I Walked with a Zombie'
Keywords:Matthew, parables, zombie
This article is a theological (re)reading of Matthew’s wedding feast parable (22:1–14) through one of the parable’s specific disruptions: the man without a wedding garment. It argues that the plight of this enigmatic figure critiques Matthew’s dualistic anti-imperial reversal on its own terms and unveils the theology of empire embedded within its narrative. The man without a wedding garment is a border crosser whose presence unleashes a violent reaction from the anti-imperial king of the parable: the king has the man thrown into the “outer darkness.” The second half of the paper crosses into the world of B-horror, where the zombies in the Jacques Tourneur/Val Lewton collaboration, I Walked with a Zombie (RKO: 1943), are border crossers who not only disrupt colonial space, but also achieve a narrative and spatial takeover. Tourneur’s zombie film is offered as a way out of Matthew’s “outer darkness” and into a space of subversive hope. This article argues that border crossing is a subaltern strategy of resistance for the uprooted, dislocated, and excluded of the world.
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