March 29, 2012:
Matthew Cantirino, on the First Things blog, "First Thoughts," took a closer look at Father Barron's recent review of The Hunger Games. Cantirino's article, "Scapegoats and Sacrificial Games," is featured below.
"Fr. Robert Barron, producer of last year’s much-touted Catholicism series, offers some thoughts on the popularity of the Hunger Games over at the Corner. His reflections won’t, perhaps, be terribly novel to those with a solid religious background, but as that represents a shrinking demographic in our country, he says, we shouldn’t be surprised to see pop culture begin investigating or dabbling with the allure of human sacrifice:
The really interesting question is this: Why has this motif of the sacrificial victim played such a large role in the human imagination for so long? Why do we keep acting out this scenario, both in reality and in our literature? The contemporary literary theorist Rene Girard has speculated that practically every human community is grounded in what he calls “the scapegoating mechanism.” [. . .]
He found that Christianity was the one religion, philosophy, or ideology that both unmasked this scapegoat mechanism and showed a way out. For at the heart of Christian revelation is God’s utter identification, not with the perpetrators of violence, but with the scapegoated victim. The crucified Jesus is hence the undermining of the dynamic that has undergirded most civilizations and that continues to beguile the human imagination to this day. [. . .]"
Read the rest of the article here.