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Could vampires live on con- or trans- substantiated communion wine/juice? Or would the religiousness make it anathema?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-04 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hermionesviolin.livejournal.com
As in, does it being Blood mean it would power their bodies like real blood does? Provided of course the Blessing of it wouldn't make their bodies react to it like they would Holy Water. Heh. Interesting question.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-04 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] malnpudl.livejournal.com
Ooh, intriguing.

Not an answer, or even a direct reply, but this reminds me of Henry, the 400-year-old vampire in Tanya Huff's Blood series, who was and is a devout Catholic and feels profound pain over being forever separated from the Sacrament because he lives in a permanent state of sin. She didn't ever consider the question that you posed, but now I wish she had.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-05 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluerosefairy.livejournal.com
I thought IMMEDIATELY of Henry Fitzroy when Ari asked the question. I really wish Tanya had dealt more with Henry's Catholicism in the series - either the Blood or the Smoke series - because yes, that's so fascinating.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-04 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sage-theory.livejournal.com
I think the answer might be a tentative yes. It depends on if you believe in transubstantiation. Coming from protestant quarters, I tend not to personally, but for the sake of the argument I think yes.

In popular lore, vampires can't stand crosses or Holy Water, but the cross myth actually doesn't come from the religion symbol but the very old practice of burying suspected vampires at the crossroads of a town so they couldn't find their way back home. So that actually has secular roots.

As for Holy Water, it is blessed by an ordained intermediary, whereas transubstantiation takes place not because the priest makes it happen, but because God's power makes it happen (Or so the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church would have you believe). One could argue that because the interaction is directly between the person (or vampire) receiving the Eucharist and God/Holy Spirit/Jesus Him/itself rather than through a third party/substance it might be ostensible for a vampire to receive the Eucharist.

I think arguments could also be bolstered by what you think of vampires having souls. I don't know the exact origin of the belief that vampires don't have souls or if it's universal to all vampire mythology. Also? So much is influenced by Joss. If you believe vampires don't have souls, that might hurt the argument. If you believe they do, that might be something different.

Keeping in mind that one problem in all the vampire mythology is that it seems to make only a narrow window of religiousness anathema to vampires and only certain symbols of one particular branch of Christian faith. There seems to be no discussion of whether vampires are equally put off by a Star of David or Muslim Prayer Mat.

This is like cavemen vs. astronauts for me now, because I'm gonna be debating it in my head all day.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-05 03:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mari4212.livejournal.com
Actually, Terry Pratchett in his Discworld novels made it clear that in his 'verse, all religious objects from any tradition affected vampires, to the extent that the wielder believed in them. So there's at least one version of the vampire mythos which is equal opportunity to all religions.

It, erm, just isn't set on our Earth.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-04 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kindkit.livejournal.com
I'd vote no. Since (in most versions of the myth) Christian symbols cause vampires pain or death, I think it would probably kill them instantly.

Plus, transubstantiation changes the essence but not the accidents, all of which are still wine-y. Presumably the accidents include nutritional value as well as taste, smell, appearance, etc.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-05 03:21 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-04 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] piperrhiannon.livejournal.com
If holy water burns them, I'm pretty sure that the blood of Christ would too.

Though I was raised Catholic, and we theoretically believe that the wine has literally, rather than symbolically, become the blood of Christ.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-05 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neonethos.livejournal.com
I could see how the religious undertones of the communion wine would be able to do more than just simple feeding for a vampire. Drinking from the 'blood of Jesus' would invigorate and perhaps change the vampire but regardless they're drinking blood. Vampires can either be explained by some sort of magic or some sort of disease. I favor the magic concept, that it's something to be passed on and something that causes your body to die and reanimate into slightly different and dark, a creature moving and yet still. The blood of Christ, transubstantiated from wine in and of itself is a miracle, an act of magic or faith (however you might want to interpret it) and could shift and change the vampire.

or make him go *poof*

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-05 01:44 am (UTC)
ext_108: Jules from Psych saying "You guys are thinking about cupcakes, aren't you?" (fandom st: brb fangirling)
From: [identity profile] liviapenn.livejournal.com

Heh, this reminds me of the Dracula vs. Superman comic. Dracula was like "I'll bite Superman and gain the powers of his SUPER BLOOD," but he didn't know that Superman's biology is actually solar-powered. So biting him was like drinking a shot of concentrated sunshine, and he turned to dust.

So yeah, if the fictional universe where this happens is specifically Christian in its cosmology (ie, ALL vampires are physically repelled by crosses, but not symbols of other religions, "holy ground" means *only* Christian churches, cemeteries, etc.) then it basically comes down to "what would happen if a vampire bit Jesus" and I think Jesus probably wins. *G* But, in a universe where there's lots of mixed up competing cosmologies (ie, vampires and zombies and leprechauns and djinn and ifrits and tengu and kitsune) then maybe a *non-Christian* vampire could drink transubstantiated wine.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-05 09:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] georgiaclaire.livejournal.com
In Anne Rice's series, you're probably okay.

Also? Also. I just wrote an essay about the sexuality of vampires. IT WAS KIND OF AWESOME, because they're all kinda gay.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-15 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alixtii.livejournal.com
In terms of the Buffyverse: I tend to be wary of assuming religious icons (or anything else, really) to be anathematic beyond the degree we've seen in canon. I also assume that, the Buffyverse being as deeply Platonic as it is, that the repelling power of the religious items we've seen is intrinsic to their nature and not the result of how they are understood by either humans or vampires (individually or collectively). (Cf. the theory in my fic "Mystery" that the reasons the Romans used crosses to crucify was precisely in order to keep vampires from prematurely ending the agony of their victims.)

In terms of transubstantiation and related doctrines: I'd expect that a vampire would require the accidents of blood in order to be nourished by it, and not just the substance, and so would be inclined to vote no; the Blood of Christ wouldn't nourish vampires for precisely the same set of reasons as why it can still get you drunk. I supose that this depends on whether the process of nourishment-deriving was one which was quasi-biological or purely mystical (using "mystical" in the sense in which it used in Buffyverse canon, not in its proper sense); I've always assumed that vampires metabolize blood through some type of physical process, but I suppose this needn't necessarily be the case. (Of course, for some non-Buffyverse canons--Underworld, Ultraviolet, Twilight--vampirism is a quasi-scientific condition and it seems to me obvious that nourishment would rely on the accidents; in the Buffyverse, though, deriving nourishment directly from the substance doesn't seem so far-fetched now that you raise the possibility, even though I hadn't considered it before, although it does raise certain questions about what happens to the accidental manifestation afterwards. For Anne Rice, it would depend on whether we're operating under the existentialism of Interview or the religiosity of Memnoch.)
Edited Date: 2009-07-15 11:04 pm (UTC)


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