The subtitle, I presume, is from Paul's classic exhortation in scripture to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." This book certainly treats BtVS with fear and trembling, approaching it for its commentary on life rather than about a young blond valley girl who fights baddies.
Each of the 22 essays are written by either psychology professors or leaders in the field of study, and all are written for post-graduate level work. This book, it quickly becomes clear, is not just attempting to make a buck off the Buffy label, but actually sees the insights loyal and mature viewers saw years ago. It also, for those of us who care, puts names to the ideas we saw in the episodes but didn't know how to articulate.
I was entranced. Having done several years of post-grad work in ministry and pastoral care issues, the psychology aspects fit right in. I don't suggest this as reading for those who just happened to like the show: you should have some interest in how people work.
The chapter topics are heady, to say the least, and include (among others) "Faith and Plato", "BtVS as Feminist Noir", Feminism and the ethics of violence", "Between Heavens and Hells: The Multidimensional Universe in Kant and BtVS", "A Kantian analysis of moral judgement in BtVS" and "Fascism, Christianity and the Eternal Demon."
No light read this. I loved it, and the variety of authors and writing styles, along with the familiar Buffy situations and quotes, made it worth my time.
What am I reading now?
I just started re-reading On Death and Dying, the Kubler-Ross classic and a biography of Winston Churchill.