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So, what is Edgy-Catholic?
Edgy-Catholic is a genre of fiction with a positive, Christian/Catholic viewpoint, that is not intended for the whole family, and may include significant levels of violence, including supernatural violence, or sexual situations. If we use the movie rating system, we are talking about works with at least a PG-13 rating, but with a Christian/Catholic viewpoint, or at least religious content that is not hostile to the Catholic perspective.
So, is this something new?
Well, only the name is new. Many very accomplished Catholic writers of the 20th century wrote works for mature audiences that were lumped in with other works of their particular genres and the religious viewpoint was not really fully considered as part of their genre. We can think of one of the top-grossing horror films of all time, The Exorcist, as an extreme example of an edgy, yet Catholic, work. We can also look at fiction by authors like Graham Greene and Flannery O'Connor, who span some genres in their work, but have a common quality of being from a Catholic perspective, and addressing mature themes.
As we turned the page into the 21st century, most of the more edgy content for mature audiences became more suspicious of religion, or outright hostile to it, while content including religious themes became more family-friendly. While it makes sense that religious men and women busy raising their families would gravitate toward more family-friendly fare, and the market would respond, the risk is that religion becomes associated with watered-down content that is meant to be left behind as adulthood approaches, and the cool and trendy thing to do is to graduate into content that avoids a religious perspective entirely, or worse, is openly hostile toward religion.
So, the modern version of 1 Cor 13:11, "When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put away childish things" has become, "When I was a child, I believed in religious stuff, but when I grew up, I left that nonsense behind." Not quite what St. Paul was talking about, though. In fact, the examples of Catholic saints, like St. Augustine, are quite dramatically the opposite. The childish things St. Augustine left behind are the things our young adults gravitate toward, as being "Adult," or "Mature."
This quote from Flannery O'Connor sums up the edgy-Catholic perspective:
"The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock -- to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures."
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