The Gospel According to The Hunger Games



The Gospel According to “The Hunger Games” Trilogy
The authors, father and daughter who are both United Methodist pastors in Western North Carolina, have discovered within The Hunger Games trilogy a number of characters and themes that have parallels to classic Jewish and Christian figures and theology. Pastors and teachers may use the following observations to engage congregational members and students in reflecting on theological themes within the trilogy. We invite you to use the release of the movie “The Hunger Games” in March 2012 and its sequels as teachable moments for highlighting classic biblical understandings.

The Hunger Games and the Gospel (Study Guide Edition): Bread, Circuses, and the Kingdom of God
In a globalized world full of uncertainty and injustice, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series has captured the imaginations of readers looking for glimmers of hope. The tale of Katniss Everdeen’s journey of survival in the post-apocalyptic country of Panem, where bread and circuses distract the privileged and allow a totalitarian regime to oppress the masses, parallels situations in our world today. At the same time, the series’ themes of resistance to oppression and hope for a better world, portrayed honestly as messy and difficult endeavors, echo the transformative way of life Jesus offered his followers.

The Hunger Games and the Gospel explores these themes in The Hunger Games series that have resonated so deeply with readers by examining their similarity to the good news found in Jesus’ message about living in the ways of God’s Kingdom. Taking the rich statements of the Beatitudes, which serve as mini-pictures of God’s dreams realized on earth as in heaven, each chapter reflects on how those pictures are exhibited both in the narrative of The Hunger Games, and in Jesus’ time, and then explores their significance for our own world. Thought-provoking questions provide direction for personal reflection and group discussion. Readers are invited to allow the inspiration of The Hunger Games help them live in the ways of the Kingdom of God by discovering how they too can work toward the possibility of a better world.

Finding God in the Hunger Games: 30 Devotions to Inspire Faith
The Hunger Games has swept into popularity for good reason—it’s a great series. And though God is never mentioned in Suzanne Collin’s books, there are many spiritual themes that run beneath the story line.

Finding God in the Hunger Games contains 30 devotions based on lessons that can be learned from the Hunger Games series. Written from an evangelical Christian perspective, this book will inspire those who want to grow closer to Jesus Christ and understand Biblical principals as they are illustrated in Collin’s work.

The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason
Katniss Everdeen is “the girl who was on fire,” but she is also the girl who made us think, dream, question authority, and rebel. The post-apocalyptic world of Panem’s twelve districts is a divided society on the brink of war and struggling to survive, while the Capitol lives in the lap of luxury and pure contentment. At every turn in the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and their many allies wrestle with harrowing choices and ethical dilemmas that push them to the brink. Is it okay for Katniss to break the law to ensure her family’s survival? Do ordinary moral rules apply in the Arena? Can the world of The Hunger Games shine a light into the dark corners of our world? Why do we often enjoy watching others suffer? How can we distinguish between what’s Real and Not Real? This book draws on some of history’s most engaging philosophical thinkers to take you deeper into the story and its themes, such as sacrifice, altruism, moral choice, and gender.

Exploring religion in film, the spirituality of television shows, and meaning found within popular culture.

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