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Inviting Christ to the Dinner Table

A conversation with theologian Norman Wirzba, author of 'Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating'.

While eating for optimal health and weight loss has been an American obsession for at least 100 years, the past decade has seen growth of a different kind of awareness; a food movement comprising culinary, agricultural, ethical, and environmental concerns. Writers such as Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan, and Barbara Kingsolver have shown us that the choices we make about what to eat touch more than just us. Americans have long been able to spend a lower percentage of income on food than any other industrialized country, but cheap food comes at a price, including environmental degradation, diet-related diseases (like Type II diabetes), and egregious suffering on the part of people and animals.

In Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating, Duke theologian Norman Wirzba (author of Living the Sabbath) adds a distinctly Christian voice to the ongoing dialogues of the food movement. His approach begins with recognizing food as a gift from God. I interviewed Wirzba recently to ask him about his approach to eating, weight loss, and dealing with "less than ideal" meals.
What differentiates your perspective from others within the 'food movement'?

Lots of writers have helpful things to say about our food system. But not many are saying why eating matters to God, or that food is God's love made delectable. Eating well does help heal our world. And eating well brings pleasure to God and witnesses to God's kingdom. Growing and sharing food is a vital, daily part of our ministry as ambassadors of God's ...

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