Saturday, August 30, 2008

food, the meal & the life of the world

the fruit of the evening: the next 12 pages will take less time than the intro and thesis...
Everyone eats but only within the last century has food choice become such an overwhelming yet quotidial reality for so many people. Whereas, historically and still in some parts of the world, people ate traditional recipes prepared with local ingredients we now experience the hyper accessibility of diverse cuisines and ranges of food quality that creates a double consumption: we are marketed to as consumers before we consume anything into our bodies. To avoid complete paralysis in the grocery store, we become passive in our food “choices” by eating essentially what we have been conditioned to crave. After half a century of processing the life right out of our food, society is slowly waking up to the physical and emotional health issues that now plague us because of our eating habits. More recently we are beginning to consider the disastrous implication of our meals upon our planet. Increasingly, we are becoming aware of the connection between our diet and the life of the world.
In this paper I will examine Orthodox Eucharistic theology, which extends beyond the liturgical practice of communion to a sacramental presence of the church in the world. To the extent that this is true, meal-times become an extension of the Table of the Lord and are the space for the practice of eating habits that engage the life of the world. The practical movement out of this work is a call to theologically informed eating that brings life and health to our bodies and souls, families and communities, systems and planet. We are what we eat.

5 comments:

Swift said...

Intrigued...I'd like to see the whole thing.

cris said...

i'm looking forward to reading this and sharing it with Jeff...if I may be so bold.

you are a good writer. I snuck a peek at your paper from Theo and the Artistic Impulse and liked what I read (and how it flowed).

elnellis said...

thanks for your kind words cris. i'm finding a bit of fresh energy for writing papers these days. years one and two at mars hill were creative times... years three and four was a lot of recycling... year five feels like it needs some fresh material.

i'll shoot you a copy when i turn it in.

pedro said...

It's amazing how the depth of personal experience can inform our perspectives and by extension our theology. I know that you and Ruth have been moving toward more intentional and thoughtful living since you have been married anyway. But Judah's dietary needs have made food choices (and the eucharist?) that much more meaningful and profound. I know I experienced this at your table.

P&H said...

this is some thought provoking stuff. i would love to read the whole paper when you're done. some good "food for thought"!