Cullenism – every generation gets the religion it deserves?

Now I’m hardly one to complain about people drawing on fiction as a basis for their spirituality. But…

A cult of devotees has sprung up based on the teen-vampire-porn-without-the-sex Twilight books.

Blogger (and fan of the series) Amanda Bell writes:

These Cullenists believe “[j]ust like any other religion,” that there is some spirituality to be had in the Twilight series, forming rules and principles upon which to base their tenets. Their creed, say the Cullenists, includes a base set of beliefs that “Edward and the rest of the Twilight characters are real,” that “[t]he Twilight series should be worshipped,” and that “[i]f you are good in life, you will be bless[ed] with eternity with the Cullens.” Other than that, say the Cullenists, there “is not a limit to what you can believe in when it comes to the Cullenism religion . . . we will accept any other Cullenism beliefs you may have.” Cullenists are also expected to read some of the books on a daily basis, “like the Bible” and make a pilgrimage to Forks.

She also gently observes:

While religion and spirituality are a first-hand and very personal experience, and others who formulate their own principles and guidance to help them maneuver through and stay afloat in this challenging, frustrating, and sometimes depressing thing we call life are often praised for their individualism and bravery, the Cullenists might be stretching it a little.

I think the key thing here is not that these people work with fiction in search of meaning – it’s that they insist their mythos is real. That whole it’s-just-a-metaphor thing eludes them. Just like any religion, of course.

And for Valen’s sake, couldn’t they at least draw on a less shite mythos?

(The original post which the above quotes draw on is here, with an update after their fandom went into inevitable meltdown here. The latter would indicate the characters are possibly being used more as Loa than full-blown deities, which could work… but without looking harder on the now-closed forum, it’s hard to tell. I suspect this one could run and run…)

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7 Responses to Cullenism – every generation gets the religion it deserves?

  1. Kirsty Hall says:

    Congratulations, you broke my brain. But don’t worry, I wasn’t using it much today.

  2. […] catvincent put an intriguing blog post on Cullenism – every generation gets the religion it deserves? « Cat …Here’s a quick excerptThese Cullenists believe “[j]ust like any other religion,” that there is some spirituality to be had in the Twilight series, forming rules and principles upon which to base their tenets. Their creed, say the Cullenists, includes a base … […]

  3. Sidney Carton says:

    They must be kidding. Have they not heard that there is no God but the Lord Cthulthu and Lovecraft is his prophet?

  4. Yvonne says:

    Nah, there are no gods but the Flying Spaghetti Monster pantheon (I’m a polytheist pastafarian).

    Seriously though, yes it’s taking it literally that’s the problem, and using the book as the source of the commandments instead of working out their own credo and ethos.

    Oh and there are plenty of religions that don’t take stuff literally (Wicca and Unitarianism and the Radical Faeries immediately spring to mind, though there may be others).

  5. Delzer says:

    Great site! Keep up the good work!

  6. I have recently come across a recreation of the Bene Gesserit, but it has too many rules for my taste.

  7. Ana says:

    I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back
    later and see if the problem still exists.

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