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The Spirit of Food

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Spirit of Food.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Leslie Leyland Fields(Editor)

    Book details

Description: You are invited to a feast for the senses and the spirit! Thirty-four adventurous writers open their kitchens, their recipe files, and their hearts to illustrate the many unexpected ways that food draws us closer to God, to community, and to creation. All bring a keen eye and palette to the larger questions of the role of food--both its presence and its absence--in the life of our bodies and spirits. Their essays take us to a Canadian wheat farm, a backyard tomato garden in Cincinnati, an organic farm in Maine; into a kosher kitchen, a line of Hurricane Katrina survivors as they wait to be fed, a church basement for a thirty-hour fast; inside the translucent layers of an onion that transport us to a meditation on heaven, to a church potluck, and to many other places and ways we can experience sacramental eating. In a time of great interest and equal confusion over the place of food in our lives, this rich collection, which includes personal recipes, will delight the senses, feed the spirit, enlarge our understanding, and deepen our ability to "eat and drink to the glory of God." Featuring the writings of Robert Farrar Capon, Wendell Berry, Lauren Winner, Luci Shaw, Andre Dubus, Jeanne Murray Walker, Brian Volck, and many others, INCLUDING ORIGINAL RECIPIES! Endorsements: "I'm trying to resist the temptation to pun--describing this as a rich feast of essays, or essays one will relish with delight, or essays that one should savor, and so forth--but I can't. This collection is a meal for the mind." --Mark Galli Senior Managing Editor Christianity Today "This is a gift to the Body of Christ--delicious prose and glistening dishes to assist the necessary recovery of our whole persons. As Saint John Chrysostom proclaims: 'The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry! Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.' Taste and see, indeed." --Scott Cairns author of The Compass of Affection "From the sheen on the belly of a fresh-caught salmon to the reassuring heft of homemade bread straight from the oven, this new collection by thirty-four outstanding writers opens by celebrating the sheer joy of eating, then ushers us into the realm of holy sacrament. The Spirit of Food, edited by Leslie Leyland Fields, is not only rich in wisdom gained the hard way--through the gathering, growing, and preparing of what winds up on our multifarious tables--but shines with luminous gratitude at the abundant graciousness of God." --Paula Huston author of Forgiveness: Following Jesus into Radical Loving "Leslie Leyland Fields has done those of us interested in The Spirit of Food a great service by collecting thirty-four wonderful essays and recipes. Her careful choices remind us of the many ways God can be present in the human experience of eating. The essays on fasting, feasting, and the Lord's Supper join others which recall the experiences of grace or the call for justice which occur in everyday meals." --Shannon Jung author of Food for Life: The Spirituality and Ethics of Eating "I loved reading all these wise, honest, and funny people writing about eating--the conundrums and efforts and delights involved in our relationship to food, and God, and God-as-food. It's a beautiful and inspiring collection of essays. I've been praying and eating better since reading it." --Debbie Blue author of Sensual Orthodoxy About the Contributor(s): Leslie Leyland Fields is the author of seven books, including Surviving the Island of Grace: A Life on the Wild Edge of America and "Parenting is Your Highest Calling" . . . and 8 Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt. She teaches in Seattle Pacific University's Master of Fine Arts Program and lives in Kodiak, Alaska.

LESLIE LEYLAND FIELDS is a writer, editor, and national speaker who lives on Kodiak Island, Alaska in the winter and Harvester Island in the summer, where she joins her family in a commercial salmon fishing operation. She has written/edited 10 nonfiction books of memoir and essays on a variety of subjects, including the spirituality of food, forgiveness, wilderness, commercial fishing, and parenting. She is on the Editorial Board of Christianity Today magazine and writes for In Touch, Books and Culture and other journals. She loves to travel, and spent several years trekking around the world, through Asia, S.E. Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central America. She still travels often, leaving Kodiak to speak at conferences, churches, retreats, and universities around the country. In 2013, she began the Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop, a week long writing workshop and retreat at her remote fishcamp island.Guests have included Scot McKnight, Bret Lott, Luci Shaw, Jeanne Murray Walker. Her co-writer for 2017 is Phillip Yancey, and in 2018 Ann Voskamp.  Leslie has written for many publications including The Atlantic, Orion, Books and Culture, Beliefnet, Christianity Today. Her essays have appeared in On Nature: Great Writers on the Great Outdoors; It's a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters; A Mile in Her Boots: Women Who Work in the Wild, and many others. She has three graduate degrees, in Creative Nonfiction, English and Journalism.Leslie has taught for many years in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Oregon, Alaska and Washington and now continues to teach through college visits, frequent radio appearances, speaking, and her professional writing business, The Northern Pen. Leslie and her husband Duncan have 6 children, a daughter and 5 sons, most of whom work in salmon fishing every summer. She blogs at You can reach her at [email protected]

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Book details

  • PDF | 286 pages
  • Leslie Leyland Fields(Editor)
  • Cascade Books (September 15, 2010)
  • English
  • 9
  • Religion & Spirituality

Read online or download a free book: The Spirit of Food


Review Text

  • By Craig Goodwin on December 7, 2011

    The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting and Fasting Toward God (Cascade Books, 2010) is a wonderful collection of essays by an all-star cast of gifted writers on the connections between food and Christian faith.The book reminds me of one of those summer food festivals that feature samplings from all the best restaurants in town. I remember growing up with the annual Bite of Seattle. We would pay an entrance fee to get in and then tent by tent we would make our way around the festival stalls, gobbling up appetizer-sized portions of gourmet mu-shoo pork tacos and blackened salmon. In the same way The Spirit of Food invites the reader in to sample the gourmet writing of Lauren Winner, Wendell Berry, Ann Voskamp, Amy Frykholm, Alexander Schmemann, Robert Farrar Capon, and Leslie Leyland Fields who edited and coordinated this event/book. Interspersed among the more well-known authors are unique perspectives from dozens of others, all organized around the themes: On the Way to the Table, In the Kitchen, The Ways We Eat, Fasting, At the Table of the Lord, and Feasting.Given the nature of the book I'm going to approach this review like it's a conversation in the car with a friend driving home from one of those food festivals. Let's call it "Bite of the Kingdom."Friend: So how did you like The Spirit of Food/Bite of the Kingdom?Me: I don't think I've ever read so many tasty morsels of food writing. (yes, the puns are irresistable) Just when I was savoring the offerings in one chapter I was drawn to the next. They did a really good job representing different perspectives on how food intersects with faith. I like that each author was given the freedom to engage the topic from their experience. I could tell that the authors really enjoyed writing on the subject and that came through in the reading of the book.Friend: What was your favorite chapter?Me: I'm a sucker for Berry, Schmemann, and Capon but I'm familiar with their work so their chapters were like comfort food that is flawlessly prepared, and tasty as usual, but it's familiarity makes me look elsewhere for a favorite. I really enjoyed Amy Frykholm's treatment of Orthodox fasting rituals in which she writes about her experience as an exchange student in Russia where she "witnessed a fuller understanding of the body and soul in communion." I resonate with her desire for this kind communion. Suzanne Wolfe's description of her struggle with an eating disorder was wonderfully honest and served up just the right combination of the sweet hope of hunger satisfied and the sour despair of irreconcilable hungers.Friend: But which was your favorite.Me: Okay, if you're going to make me choose I'd have to say Lauren Winner's reflection on her experience with Kosher food laws as a Jew and the ways her experience with kashrut, as she calls it, might inform her foodways as a Christian. I was intrigued by her statement, "While Christians are not bound by the particularities of Deuteronominic dietary laws, we still may want to pay attention to the basic principle that underlies kashrut: God cares about our dietary choices." In summing up the provocative potential of Kosher food laws for Christians she says, "At its most basic level, keeping kosher requires you to be present to your food." She cites the "logic of kashrut" as she sketches the contours of a food ethic that includes paying attention and seasonal eating. She writes, "Food is part of God's creation. A right relationship with food points us toward him."Her chapter really got me thinking about what other practices in the Bible and the history of the church might inform Christian approaches to food. It seems like an under-explored area in many church circles.Friend: Yeah I enjoyed her chapter too. It sure is hard to choose a favorite.Me: The only downside to The Spirit of Food is that you only get an small portion at each stop on the journey. Many of the chapters left me wanting a leisurely 10-course meal of reading to follow-up on the tantalizing appetizer.Friend: But it's nice that the authors provide a recipe to accompany each chapter. I bet you could make a nice 10-course meal from the recipes in the book. My only complaint is that their wasn't a beer garden.I think food may be the next big topic among American Christians and The Spirit of Food is the most accessible guide yet to the potential of food to shape Christian faith, and a convincing argument that it should. It would make a great Christmas present for your foodie friends.

  • By Eric B on September 21, 2010

    There is an irony in writing a online review for a book about life that is located and physical. That noted, the Spirit of Food will be one of the best reads on my list this year. The book itself was a feast; chapter after chapter of poetic yet accessible writings reminding me that being present physically in the everyday is a spiritual act. The book is at once joyful and somber; a wonderful reflection on rooted living and work. I'd recommend it to those who like Wendell Berry and Michael Pollan, vegetable gardening and farmers markets, as well as those who like Phillip Yancy and Donald Miller, church potlucks and Wednesday night Bible study.

  • By dds on December 19, 2010

    Rich and diverse in ideas about food and it's place in our spiritual journeys. We discussed it in a reading group. Then I purchased copies as Christmas gifts for my foodie friends. A treasured find.

  • By Just Miss January on May 15, 2011

    I actually feel so disappointed that I've come to the end of this book! A collection of beautiful essays on fasting and feasting, "The Spirit of Food" is an absolute pleasure to read. Each essayist brings a little something to the table (pun intended), whether it be the pleasures of eating good food, the significance of food and family, the moral and ethical issues surrounding food production, and even the hurts that food, or the lack thereof, can bring.For people who love getting dirty in the kitchen, feeling and smelling both the tang and sweetness of fresh ingredients, as well as the creamy, buttery goodness of soul food ingredients, nearly every essayist includes a personal recipe. These recipes are simple, yet emotionally significant, and invite the reader to be physically and spiritually involved in the essayists' stories. But, this is not simply a cookbook, but rather a book that embraces and explores the relationship between food, people, and God, and how physical nourishment is so often spiritual nourishment as well.I absolutely loved this book. It is one of the most unique and spiritual books I have ever read, and one of the most pleasurable. It was a feast for the senses and for the heart, and really fed my spirituality, particularly during the season of Lent. Those who have a deep passion for the beauty of liturgy, as well as for those who lean more toward the Evangelical, contemporary style of worship, will enjoy this book. Simply put, "The Spirit of Food" will provide edification and spiritual nourishment for any reader who wants "Thanksgiving" to be a daily occurrence. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone.Please note that I was generously provided with a review copy of "The Spirit of Food" free of charge from Wipf and Stock Publishers in exchange for my honest review. The opinions stated in this review are my own. I was not required to provide a positive review.

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