5 March 2020

Anxiety and Purity in Castlevania

Because I’ve been reading Warren Ellis’s newsletter, Orbital Operations, I’ve been aware of the release of Castlevania’s third season. I had never watched any of it before, so I just sat down to watch the first season today. It’s really quite good, although the gore may be a bit overdone for my own taste.

I found the portrayal of the Bishop particularly thought-provoking. The scene where one of the demons confronts him and says that the Bishop has not been doing God’s work is powerful — Your work makes your God puke.”

The idea of purity and cleansing runs deep in these scenes, and it strikes me that this is the fundamental anxiety of religion. All religion seeks to be pure before God because that is how one attains blessing. Christianity of all religions has had its fair share of anxieties. But where the true gospel differs is that it removes all religious anxiety, or at least, it should. Rather than worry about whether you are being defiled, the gospel calls a believer to trust in the Christ. Anxiety is the antonym of trust. True religion is therefore not a series of reactions to anxieties of purity, but a trust in the Messiah who purifies.

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