by Arthur Paul Patterson
HAS A bad rap among many spiritual
seekers mostly because they are uncomfortable with the effects horror
has on their emotions. They feel that it has a purely negative effect
and is associated with "dark" forces. However, literary horror
is primarily cautionary and cathartic and, when read for instruction,
can lead to deep insight. Teaching readers to read horror for insight
is a goal of my proposed book entitled Beauty of the Beast.
Beauty of the Beast will be about how literary horror contributes
to psychological and spiritual development. It will be intended for
book lovers who read literature as an integral part of their character
or spiritual formation. Beauty of the Beast will show the relationship
between literary horror and the human story by examining the original
narrative, the authors narrative and the readers narrative.
of the Beast
will be about how literary horror contributes to psychological and spiritual
The knowledge that we are all monsters on the way to becoming human
beings ought not be an occasion for shame but an opportunity to attend
to our spiritual growth. The primary purpose of horror is to bring us
up against our human limitation and to enable us to become compassionate.
I would like readers to more deeply appreciate that we are formed in
community through narrative and that what we read can greatly impact
our character formation.
Read excerpts from various sections of the book proposal:
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