Top list: 'Hunger Games' not the only dark movie made especially for kids

At first glance, "The Hunger Games," which features government oppression, teen killings and a messy love triangle, doesn't seem like it could be part of a Sunday School lesson. But other authors seem to be finding plenty of parallels.

"The Hunger Games and the Gospel" is one book that is finding popularity in Christian circles. According to a description by the Patheos Press, the book illustrates how "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 author, Julie Clawson, a former pastor, wrote an editorial about the subject of her book on The Huffington Post Religion Blog.

"While it might seem strange to say that a dystopian young adult novel about children killing each other for the entertainment of an indulgent privileged class is about love, as the trilogy unfolds love emerges as the theme holding the narrative together. This is not simply romantic love, but the kind of love that nurtures and sustains life. Those familiar with the teachings of Jesus would recognize it as the sort of love he requests of his followers," she wrote.

One reviewer, Brian Walsh, wrote on Empire Remized, "Julie Clawson writes out of a breadth of biblical understanding, serious commitment to Christian discipleship, love of a good story and with all the passion and day to day wisdom of a mom. That’s right. A mom. There is so much to commend this creative engagement with Suzanne Collins’ 'The Hunger Games' trilogy. The way that Clawson plays with the resonances between the trilogy and biblical faith."

Another book, "The Gospel According to 'The Hunger Games' Trilogy," was written by a pastor at the Hoyle Memorial United Methodist Church, and is featured in the Shelby Star in Shelby N.C.

In the book, Ann Duncan and her father, Andy Langford, wrote a theological response to "The Hunger Games" trilogy. The book is intended to facilitate discussion between parents, youth group leaders, Sunday School teachers and young adults, according to the article.

“The release of ‘The Hunger Games’ is a teachable moment for religious leaders about basic biblical themes in our contemporary culture,” the study says.

One similarity they find is the connection of main character Katniss Everdeen to Jesus and Moses.

"Not only in their upbringing but in the responsibilities they are forced to take and in overcoming their obstacles," the article stated.

Email: tackerman@desnews.com