Tuesday 26 June 2012

Jamison Galt on Church Practices in Public Life: Food

Cardus have started a new series on ‘Church Practices and Public Life’, which looks like it could be worth checking out as entries appear.
The editor’s note says:
‘We’re accustomed to thinking of the practices of the Christian faith as something that happens within the church, shaping those who engage in them. But we don’t always think about what it looks like when those same practices translate into and affect public life, informing society beyond the church walls. Comment asked some writers to explore this question in reference to a number of the distinctive practices of the Christian faith – like tithing, prayer, preaching, baptism, and singing – and we'll be publishing them in the coming months.’
Jamison Galt kicks off with a piece on food, reflecting on how ‘the history of the world from creation to consummation is enacted in the process of making bread’.
Some excerpts:
‘Food is central to who we are as human beings and communities; our food practices comprehend nearly everything important that we do in life: from the time we nurse as babies until our last meal we will use food to celebrate, to mourn, to court a spouse, to explore other cultures, to pursue health or its opposite, to medicate, to experiment, to delight, to worship. Food is present in most of what we do in life and food both shapes and expresses our personal habits and cultural values.’
‘The Christian story in the Holy Scriptures is where we should start in looking for the meaning of food. Food is central in the first scene of the Bible; it’s central in the last... If we’ll allow this story to shape our personal stories, we’ll find a way forward for feasting as Christians and in the public realm.’

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