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The Atheism of the Vampire Chronicles

A lot of people have been asking me why I keep talking about Anne Rice’s decision to leave Christianity. One reason is because it is personal to me. Growing up, I was a big fan of most of her Vampire Chronicle series. They were the first vampire series that I am aware of that was strongly atheistic.

When Anne Rice started the series, she was an atheist and that is definitely reflected in her work. Most vampire stories before Anne Rice portrayed vampires as some sort of demonic creature which came about through some bad dealings with God or some deal with the Devil. This was not the case with Anne Rice’s vampires.

While there was certainly supernaturalism involved with the origin of vampires in the Vampire Chronicle universe, it had nothing to do with God or the Devil. It was an accident involving spirits, but with no purpose divine or demonic. In this universe, vampires don’t fear crucifixes or holy water. In fact, at one point in the books, there were some young vampire cult which claimed to be demonic and they were seen as silly and stupid. In fact, these vampires who focused on religion (even though they claimed to be Satanic) acted much like the religious fanatics of God fearing Christianity.

Now of course Anne Rice writes Jesus books. I confess that I haven’t read any of them and I stopped reading the Vampire Chronicles toward the end of the series. But I think Anne Rice has contributed a lot to the world of atheism by taking supernatural creatures like vampires (which everyone loves) and making them less religiously based. This was an important step in the vampire mythos.

Anne Rice’s books were well written and pretty well researched historically. What I mean by this is that she had a really good grasp of the history she used as a back drop for her vampire characters. In other words, Anne Rice is no dummy. She is an intellectual. This is reflected in her recent statement that Christianity is anti-science. Don’t get me wrong though, she isn’t an intellectual on the same level of Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris, but within the literary world, she generally values knowledge and reason.

Now the task is to get her to move further in that direction.

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