Border Crossing with the Uninvited in Matthew’s Wedding Feast Parable and Jacques Tourneur’s 'I Walked with a Zombie'


  • Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare University of St. Michael’s College, Faculty of Theology



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.

Author Biography

Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare, University of St. Michael’s College, Faculty of Theology

Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare completed his Ph.D. at the University of St. Michael’s College (University of Toronto), working in the area of liberation theologies and postcolonialism. His research is focused on religious syncretism, interreligious collaboration, and popular religion. He also writes extensively in the area of film and religion, especially the world of “gods and monsters.”


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How to Cite

DeGiglio-Bellemare, M. (2008). Border Crossing with the Uninvited in Matthew’s Wedding Feast Parable and Jacques Tourneur’s ’I Walked with a Zombie’. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 3(1), 97–122.