February 2004


February 2004

Click here to buy
this Issue
Food: from field to plate
The Assistant Editor

Food politics in the practice of Jesus
Ched Myers

Food is a recurrent motif in the biblical narrative of a people which knows hunger; indeed ‘food is part of the story of salvation’. Here Ched Myers explores a selection of food-based accounts from both Old and New Testaments, while centring a ‘food theology’ on the Eucharist. He is a theological educator with Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries in Los Angeles (www.bcm-net.org) and his most recent book is The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics (Washington, DC: Church of the Savior, 2001).

Food in the Church’s story
Judith Champ

Food and religion have long gone together, especially in the shaping of the identity of specific religious groups, such as that of the recusant Catholics in England. Dr Judith Champ, who teaches church history at Oscott Seminary, discusses the part played by both feasting and fasting in the Church’s story, particularly in England’s past. She asks disturbing questions of the future when, ‘If the feast becomes less central, then so does its associated fast; if the community becomes individualised, then so do the religious practices.’

Following the LOAF
Edward P. Echlin

Edward P. Echlin, author of Earth Spirituality: Jesus at the Centre* and Chairman of Catholic Concern for Animals, here describes how the LOAF principles (locally produced, organically grown, animal friendly, fairly traded) of Christian Ecology Link can provide a blueprint for sustainable production and consumption of food. ‘Living sustainably locally ... is the best, most holistic way to serve God and neighbour, to conduct the cosmic liturgy, to let God’s glory through.’

Cold comfort farms of the poor
George Gelber

Through the lives of real people, George Gelber, Head of Public Policy at Cafod, shows how the current free world trade in food products, coupled with unfair subsidies, favour already prosperous countries and draw the poor into deeper desperation. Some Western politicians are making efforts to reverse these consequences, but ‘when it comes to agriculture they are like St Augustine when he prayed for chastity, they are not quite yet ready for it’.

Clare Watkins

Should Christian families follow society’s trend in solitary snacking, or make a point of eating together at table? Dr Clare Watkins, Vice Principal of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge, reflects on the theological implications of the way we eat, or abstain from eating, in the world of fast food. ‘For, whilst all animals feed, and hunger, and eat and drink, we alone are able to reflect on this basic activity in the light of God’s providence ...’

The role of the school assembly
Jude Groden RSM

Jude Groden is a Religious Education Adviser in the Brentwood Diocese and has co-authored several books on school assemblies and prayer. Here she suggests how primary school assemblies can be made to work as opportunities for community prayer, and gives the outline of a model assembly for Lent.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Peter Cornwell

Peter Cornwell, formerly chaplain at Prior Park College, Bath, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays in March.

Old Testament chronicle
Bernard Robinson

Bernard Robinson, who, until his retirement, taught Scripture at Ushaw College, Durham, comments on another set of recent books on the Old Testament that may interest readers.

Postscript: Post-Christendom
Paul Hypher


Windows into Old Testament History. Evidence, argument, and the crisis of ‘biblical Israel’
ed. V.P. Long, D.W. Baker and G.J. Wenham
Eerdmans, £15.99
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

Ethics and the Old Testament
John Barton
SCM, £9.99
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

The Septuagint as Christian Scripture: its prehistory and the problem of its canon
Martin Hengel
T&T Clark, £25
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

Hannah’s Prayer and its Answer
Ronald S. Wallace
Rutherford House, £9.99
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

Konrad Schaefer OSB
Liturgical Press, £29.43
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974

The Psalms: strophic structure and theological commentary
Samuel Terrien
, £65
Tablet Bookshop Price: £ Tel: 01420 592 974