Thursday, 27 August 2015

Katniss Everdeen on the Gospel of Luke

Here’s a fascinating quotation from Katniss Everdeen:

Ever since Panem was liberated from the regime of Coriolanus Snow, the Capitol’s archivists have been discovering large amounts of literature preserved in secret underground vaults. Among these volumes are sacred texts from our past: the Qur’an, the Bible, the Vedas. I have read through the Qur’an and the Bible so far, and the Gospel of Luke in the Bible especially caught my attention. It reminds me that life in Panem now is not so different from how life was hundreds of years ago.

Katniss Everdeen, ‘My Thoughts on the Gospel of Luke’, in Cicero Aubergine (ed.), Reflections on the Archived Literature of the Capitol (Capitol: Capitol University Press, n.d.), p. 47

Just in case you were wondering, the above quote is entirely made up – by me! (No, really.) But I am a fan of The Hunger Games trilogy (and have been since 2010 – long before the films came out), and this recently published essay looks interesting (and this time I’m not making it up):

Karl Hand, ‘Come Now, Let us Treason Together: Conversion and Revolutionary Consciousness in Luke 22:35-38 and The Hunger Games Trilogy’, Literature and Theology 29:3 (2015), pp. 348–365

Reading together Luke’s ‘reversal of method’ pericope (Luke 22:35-38) and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy, this article argues that the Lukan Christ has insight into the kind of transformation that would drive a disciple to sell his garment and buy a dagger, and could also drive a young girl with only a backpack to steal a bow and arrow. It then suggests that not only could Christian love inspire a person to treason, but that such a transformation is exactly what discipleship entails in the face of imperial occupation, and that Luke has preserved for us a memory of Jesus who himself knew and taught conversion to revolutionary consciousness.


  1. No evidence of any snake-handling or other hard-core form of Appalachian spirituality troubled me when reading The Hunger Games. No hard-shell Baptists anywhere? No King James Only Christians anywhere? No speaking in strange tongues? None of those hard-core religious people survived? I liked the books but I thought the religious amnesia completely unconvincing for that region.

    1. I'm no expert in Appalachian spirituality (I've watched a few episodes of The X-Files that have given me all I think I need to know!), but I take your point. Within the world of Panem, though, I can imagine that enough time has passed for Christian traditions to have been stamped out or changed beyond recognition. For some reason, I assume that The Hunger Games takes place in the 2600s, which possibly allows time for religious suppression or evolution to take place.

  2. But how did Christian-IS as a power-and-control-seeking would be world-dominant "religion" become the world dominant religion?
    This one stark image says it all:

    1. Yes . . . not the finest moment of Christianity. That's what happens when religion is mixed with imperial aspirations. :(