Volunteering as Tribute and Atonement

What story does this sound like:

Out of chaos, a covenantal society coalesces between a greater power and a lesser one. When the lesser one refuses to render due honor and obedience to the greater – in actions considered in rebellion of that covenant – they bring upon themselves the wrath of the greater power, a wrath that can only be satisfied by precious sacrifice, which balances the scales once more. The climax of the story comes when one representing those to be punished volunteers to take on the wrath of the greater power. That volunteer upsets the balance of power, subverting it.

The pattern of violence that balances the scales, that atones, for disobedience or wrath seems repeated over and over. The premise in The Hunger Games series follows this pattern seen in some parts of the Christian tradition around Jesus’ death pretty closely.

One of my favorite podcasts/blogs is Homebrewed Christianity. Two Claremont School of Theology PhD’s/pastors who spin passionate theology while sipping a new beer they brewed. This podcast linked below was one of the first shows I heard, and it feels classic–especially for Lent, when that “Jesus died for our sins” bit becomes more stark, especially as we get towards Good Friday. The hosts talk with two authors who critique traditional concepts of atoning and sacrifice, including in The Hunger Games, and explore how these frameworks get re-inscribed and reflected in our culture.

Listen to the podcast here while you get ready in the morning or something. It’s awesome.



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