12 episodes

Hosted by Dr. Kutter Callaway, this podcast takes you on a journey into the heart of one of the most popular genres of contemporary film and television: horror. Whether you’re a lifelong horror fan or won’t go within 10-feet of a scary movie, each episode generates a conversation about the nature of our fears and why we just can’t seem to look away from the things that terrify us, even if we find ourselves peering through the slightly parted fingers covering our eyes. Over the course of the season, you’ll hear from major Hollywood filmmakers, well-known film critics, leading psychologists, and even an exorcist or two. At times, it will be dark, and perhaps even shocking, but the goal isn’t to wallow in this darkness anymore than it is to eliminate it from our lives. This podcast isn’t about how to avoid fear, how to leverage it, or even whether or not it’s ok to be afraid. This podcast is an exercise in learning how to fear rightly. It’s an exploration of fear, faith, and stories that scare the daylights out of us. From the studio that brought you "The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" and "The Bulletin," “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective.

Be Afraid Christianity Today

    • TV & Film
    • 4.7 • 75 Ratings

Hosted by Dr. Kutter Callaway, this podcast takes you on a journey into the heart of one of the most popular genres of contemporary film and television: horror. Whether you’re a lifelong horror fan or won’t go within 10-feet of a scary movie, each episode generates a conversation about the nature of our fears and why we just can’t seem to look away from the things that terrify us, even if we find ourselves peering through the slightly parted fingers covering our eyes. Over the course of the season, you’ll hear from major Hollywood filmmakers, well-known film critics, leading psychologists, and even an exorcist or two. At times, it will be dark, and perhaps even shocking, but the goal isn’t to wallow in this darkness anymore than it is to eliminate it from our lives. This podcast isn’t about how to avoid fear, how to leverage it, or even whether or not it’s ok to be afraid. This podcast is an exercise in learning how to fear rightly. It’s an exploration of fear, faith, and stories that scare the daylights out of us. From the studio that brought you "The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill" and "The Bulletin," “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective.

    Season One Introduction

    Season One Introduction

    After the global pandemic shut down theaters, production studios like Blumhouse and A24 provided a shot in the arm to box offices around the world with the success of horror films like The Black Phone, Smile, and Halloween Ends. But these aren’t exceptions or isolated incidents - if anything, the demand for horror stories is only increasing. In this introductory episode, we consider whether the current revival in horror films is, in some way, connected to the horrors we are all facing in the real world. We also take a look at some of the more horrific passages in Scripture. What’s the value of these stories, and why do we have such a hard time reading them, much less reflecting on them, studying them, and examining them over and over again as part of our spiritual practice? Why would the bible itself invite us to not simply know about, but to meditate on graphic stories of torture, violence, and evil? 
    Joining us this week:
    Dr. Pamela Ebstyne King is the Peter L. Benson Professor of Applied Developmental Science and the Executive Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development. King’s academic and applied efforts aim to promote a movement of human thriving that contributes to flourishing societies. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of thriving and spiritual development. She is passionate about understanding what individual strengths and environments enable diverse humans to grow individually, relationally, and aspirationally. 
    Wes Craven is a well known American filmmaker who is considered by many to be the master of horror. Although Craven passed away in 2015, his influence lives on through interviews like the one we conducted at the Reel Spirituality Conference in 2001. 
    Resources Referenced:
    CDC report on orphans created by COVID
    “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
    Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
    Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
    Producer and Editor: Stephen Scheilder
    Associate Producer: TJ Hester
    Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoholeth
    Graphic Design: Stephen Scheilder
    More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture: https://www.kuttercallaway.com/
    More from Uncommon Voices Collective: https://www.uncommonvoices.faith/
    More from Qoheleth: https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 33 min
    I See Dead People

    I See Dead People

    This week on Be Afraid, we take a hard look at the origin of our fears and consider whether films in the horror genre might actually help us face those fears rather than be held captive by them. Everybody’s story is unique, but the one thing we all hold in common is that all of our fears–whatever they may be–start somewhere. They have an origin… which means that our ability to understand how horror films not only tap into our deepest fears but also give us an opportunity to wrestle with what terrorizes us depends upon our willingness to identify and explore the moments in our lives when we first learned to fear. 
    Joining us this week:
    Scott Derrickson is a filmmaker whose projects include, among others, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Dr. Strange, and The Black Phone. 
    Pete Docter is a filmmaker, animator, and voice actor. He is the chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios.
    Josh Larsen, host of Filmspotting and author of Fear Not! 
    Elijah Davdison, co-director of Brehm Film and author of Come & See: A Christian Guide to the Greatest Films of All Time 
    Dr. Craig Detweiler, filmmaker, Dean, College of Arts and Media, Grand Canyon University. Author of several books, including Deep Focus: Film and Theology in Dialogue.
    Dr. Tim Basselin, Director of Student life and Associate Professor of Ministry, Theology, and Culture at Western Seminary this past year. Author of Flannery O'Connor: Writing a Theology of Disabled Humanity. 
    Dr. Russell Moore, Christianity Today's editor in chief and the director of the Public Theology Project.
    Dr. Brad Strawn, Chief of Spiritual Formation and Integration at Fuller Theological Seminary, Dean of the Chapel, Evelyn and Frank Freed Professor of the Integration of Psychology and Theology, and Chair of Integration, Clinical Psychology Department.
    Resources Referenced:
    The Universe is Not a Horror Show by Dr. Russell Moore
    “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
    Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
    Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
    Producer and Editor: Stephen Scheidler
    Associate Producer: TJ Hester
    Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoheleth
    Graphic Design: Stephen Scheidler

    More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture: https://www.kuttercallaway.com/
    More from Uncommon Voices Collective: https://www.uncommonvoices.faith/
    More from Qoholeth: https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

    What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

    This week on Be Afraid, we walk through the various sub-genres of horror and consider the ways in which different kinds of horror films not only reflect our wide-ranging fears, but also provide us with models for responding to the undeniable horrors of real life.
    More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture: https://www.kuttercallaway.com/
    More from Uncommon Voices Collective: https://www.uncommonvoices.faith/
    More from Qoholeth: https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com
    Joining us this week:
    Wes Craven is a well known American filmmaker who is considered by many to be the master of horror. Although Craven passed away in 2015, his influence lives on through interviews like the one we conducted at the Reel Spirituality Conference in 2001.
    Scott Derrickson is a filmmaker whose projects include, among others, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Dr. Strange, and The Black Phone.
    Dr. Coltan Scrivner is a behavioral scientist and is the author of a forthcoming book exploring our Morbid sense of Curiosity.
    Dr. Brad Strawn, Chief of Spiritual Formation and Integration at Fuller Theological Seminary, Dean of the Chapel, Evelyn and Frank Freed Professor of the Integration of Psychology and Theology, and Chair of Integration, Clinical Psychology Department.
    Resources Referenced:
    “A Witch's Invitation” by Carmen
    A Very Nervous Person’s Guide to Horror” by Mathias Clasen
    A Recent study conducted at the beginning of the COVID pandemic indicating that horror fans were more psychologically resilient toward the radical disruptions of lockdowns and isolation.
    “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
    Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
    Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
    Producer, Editor, Graphic Design: Stephen Scheidler
    Producer: TJ Hester
    Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoholeth
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 18 min
    What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism

    What an Excellent Day for an Exorcism

    This week on Be Afraid, we consider the ways in which Supernatural Horror helps us fear rightly by offering an invitation to see and acknowledge the reality of supernatural evil (and then to consider what it would mean if it didn’t just feel true but was actually true). The genre not only highlights the ways in which evil is mysterious, uncontrollable, and beyond explanation, but in light of this mystery, it exposes us as vulnerable before the wholly other. Sharing in each others’ vulnerability is what makes compassion and empathy possible. But just a word of warning. Listener discretion is advised.

    Joining us this week:
    Scott Teems is a screenwriter and director of numerous films and TV shows.
    Wes Craven is a well known American filmmaker who is considered by many to be the master of horror. Although Craven passed away in 2015, his influence lives on through interviews like the one we conducted at the Reel Spirituality Conference in 2001.
    Scott Derrickson is a filmmaker whose projects include, among others, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Dr. Strange, and The Black Phone. 
    Dr. Pamela Ebstyne King is the Peter L. Benson Professor of Applied Developmental Science and the Executive Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development. King’s academic and applied efforts aim to promote a movement of human thriving that contributes to flourishing societies. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of thriving and spiritual development. She is passionate about understanding what individual strengths and environments enable diverse humans to grow individually, relationally, and aspirationally. 

    Resources Referenced:
    A recent Ipsos poll found that one in ten Americans report that they have seen an unidentified flying object (UFO), and 42% believe in UFOs. 
    More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture: https://www.kuttercallaway.com/
    More from Uncommon Voices Collective: https://www.uncommonvoices.faith/
    More from Qoholeth: https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com

    “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
    Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
    Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
    Producer, Editor, Graphic Design: Stephen Scheidler
    Producer: TJ Hester
    Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoholeth
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    This Is as Close to Hell as I Ever Wanna Get

    This Is as Close to Hell as I Ever Wanna Get

    This week on Be Afraid, we break the fourth wall, moving from the world of horror fiction to the world of nonfiction. As we do, we consider the real stuff, the stuff movies are made of, the stuff horror movies are made of. By examining the phenomenon of real-world exorcisms, we ask how it is that we can be both skeptical and scared. 
    Joining us this week:
    Dr. David Taylor is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. 
    Rob Clark is the minister to youth and children at University Place Presbyterian Church. 
    Dr. Coltan Scrivner is a behavioral scientist and is the author of a forthcoming book exploring our Morbid sense of Curiosity. 

    Resources Referenced:
    Planet Weird’s Youtube of Anneliese Michel, the Real Emily Rose
    God’s Wider Presence, Robert K. Johnston
    Born Believers, Justin L. Barrett. 
    Washington Post article about the trial of Anneliese Michel’s parents and priests. 
    More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture: https://www.kuttercallaway.com/
    More from Uncommon Voices Collective: https://www.uncommonvoices.faith/
    More from Qoheleth: https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com
     
    “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
    Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
    Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
    Producer, Editor, Graphic Design: Stephen Scheidler
    Producer: TJ Hester
    Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoholeth
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 50 min
    Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse

    Hell is only a word. The reality is much, much worse

    This week on Be Afraid, we consider both our fear of and fascination with the world of the demonic, asking what it means to be delivered from the supernatural evil that afflicts us all in one way or another. As always, please keep in mind that the theological views and opinions expressed in this program are those of our guests and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities producing this podcast.
    Joining us this week:
    Fr. Carlos Martins is a priest with the Companions of the Cross, and is the Director of Treasures of the Church. Season 2 of The Exorcist Files, a podcast featuring his case files, releases in 2024.
    Sr. Rose Pacatte is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, a religious order focused on communications media. She is the founding Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Los Angeles. In addition, she is an award-winning film journalist and author or coauthor of 15 titles on film, film and Scripture and media literacy education.
    Daniel Silliman is Christianity Today’s news editor and author of the book Reading Evangelicals.
    Resources Referenced:
    “This is Not Morgan Freeman” AI Deep Fake video
    NPR article on the young nursing student who falsely reported her abduction
    More from Kutter Callaway on theology and culture: https://www.kuttercallaway.com/
    More from Uncommon Voices Collective: https://www.uncommonvoices.faith/
    More from Qoheleth: https://qohelethnoise.bandcamp.com
    “Be Afraid” is a production of Christianity Today, Fuller Seminary, and Uncommon Voices Collective
    Executive Producer: Erik Petrik
    Producer, Writer, and Editor: Kutter Callaway
    Producer, Editor, Graphic Design: Stephen Scheidler
    Producer: TJ Hester
    Music: Jeremy Hunt and Qoheleth
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
75 Ratings

75 Ratings

Ben88493930 ,

Thank You!

Just finished the last episode. Enjoyed it, thanks!! Learned a lot. Now what do I listen to?

Life Before Skytel ,

A Thorough and Thoroughly Captivating Podcast

I have learned so much about the value horror stories, the nature of horror, and writing horror listening to this podcast. I have also learned a lot more about humans, myself included and what it means to “Not Look Away”. To not be repulsed or afraid to look at evil - in order to stand up to it in the world today.

I highly recommend this podcast. I hope there is a second season.

Heiress Toddle ,

This podcast was made for me

I’m a Christian who loves literature, philosophy, and horror. This podcast is thrilling and substantive. It really captures how horror wrestles with the darkest features of human nature and the world—a crucial artistic purpose. The production quality and guests are top-notch. Well-done!

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