Students at Central Michigan University are exploring a wide assortment of apocalyptic scenarios - including a zombie uprising, the Associated Press reported.
This semester, the public research institution offered "From Revelation to 'The Walking Dead'," a religion course that blends ancient texts and with apocalyptic themes in the media, the AP reported.
"Thinking about the end and imagining life in a different way is something that humans have always done," Kelly Murphy, a philosophy and religion faculty member who teaches the course, said in a statement. "The prevalence of apocalyptic stories in various media gives us a window into what people are worrying about, what they hope for and how they imagine they would react in the face of a cataclysmic event."
Murphy added that she hope to show students how to "read the Book of Revelation or other ancient apocalyptic texts and learn what ancient Jewish and Christian groups were concerned about and what kind of world they hoped might exist."
The class will discuss biblical texts including the books of Daniel, Enoch and Revelation and cover a range of apocalyptic literature as well as movies such as "Shaun of the Dead" and "28 Days Later."
Students also will discuss hypothetical ethical and theological problems people could encounter in a post-apocalyptic world.
"In 'The Walking Dead,' I think you're more afraid of the people than the zombies because you don't know who you can trust," Fourth-year student Devon Wright said in a press release. "Zombies you know to stay away from. You're more afraid of humanity than the undead."
Kevin White, fourth-year political science and religion major, said it is important to incorporate popular culture into classroom settings because it gives students a means of connecting with the subject they are studying.
"Studying ancient biblical texts isn't most people's cup of tea," White said in a press release. "But, when you add zombies, it instantly becomes everyone's cup of tea."