“The Hunger Games”: A Prophecy?

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If we find stories like The Lottery and The Hunger Games disturbing, it is due to our at least implicitly Christian formation. Human sacrifice flourished in the midst of some of the most sophisticated and intellectually advanced civilizations in history. It is demonstrably the case, and not just a matter of speculation, that what brought it to an end in both the Roman and Aztec contexts was nothing other than the influence of Christianity, the religion centered on a crucified Lord.

What haunted me as I watched The Hunger Games was that the instinct for human sacrifice is never far from the surface and that it could easily exist alongside of tremendous cultural and technological sophistication. I suspect that this film is disturbingly prophetic. We might comfort ourselves with the thought that such things could never happen here, but as we in the West enter increasingly into a secular, post-Christian cultural space, we place ourselves in danger of reverting to wicked forms of behavior and social organization. (Robert Barron, “The Hunger Games: A Prophecy?”, National Review Online, March 27, 2012)

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