Common Eating – Gathering up the Crumbs

I’ve finally come to the final post in this series on common eating, although I may do one more with the pdf form of all the posts if anyone wants to have them all in one place.  Again, as has happened at other times during this series I’m not sure that I have come up with the correct name for this last class.  My original idea was to call it leftovers, but that sounded a little to cheesy, even for me. Continue reading


Common Eating – Fasting and Feasting

The reason I decided to switch this class with the class on Ferial Eating, was that it seemed more logical to examine the idea of fasting and feasting coming out of how we eat on a daily basis instead of vice-versa.  Although both of these topics will arise during the examination of common eating in the Old and New Testaments, they deserve space of their own in this discussion. Continue reading


Common Eating – Old and New Testament


This is another one of the sections that I’ve been giving a great deal of thought as to how I would like to present it.  In the regular type face sections below you will see that while I put some emphasis on the stories of the Old and New Testament, there was not necessarily a lot of emphasis there originally. There are definitely a lot of changes to this post, and I think, that as I continue to develop this course, there will be a lot more to come. 

This post was originally written about five and half years ago. Since that time I’ve go more deeply involved in reading and writing about food. It’s also changed the way I’ve heard the Bible. In part this is because, as a priest, the Lectionary plays a substantial role in my Bible. The Lectionary does tend to cut out large parts of the text which means that certain stories get greater emphasis than they would if you simply read the Bible cover to cover. 

olive oil

Olive oil would be a staple of meals in Biblical Times, although not in glass bottles with fancy labels.

I’ve decided that I would include both the Old and New Testament classes in this one post, even though they will make up separate weeks in the course itself.  One reason for doing it is an attempt to limit the number of posts that I am doing in connection with the course.  Another reason is that the design and lecture format for these two classes will most likely be very similar. Continue reading


Bibliography (C.E.)-You are What, How You Eat

I’ve been working on building up a bibliography for this class.  I hope by the time the course has taken shape I will have a bibliography that, may not be comprehensive, but will provide anyone interested in Common Eating, with a groaning board of literary choices.  I’ve been doing this largely online, because the access to books is much greater than on bookstore and library shelves.  Some of the books in the bibliography can be found under my Books I Reccomend.


I’ve also visited bookstores, new and used. I’ve gone to libraries, and the one thing I’ve discovered is that there isn’t a lot on eating as a social activity out there.  Now let me clarify, there are books available on how to host dinner parties and holiday celebrations. When it comes to books examining the meanings of why we eat.  Particularly why we gather together to eat there seems to very little readily accessible.

It has been said that the two best-selling types of books are cookbooks and diet books.  We are obsessed with the types of foods we put in our bodies and with how we prepare these foods.  Cook it in a regular oven, a convection oven or a microwave oven. Eat it grilled, boiled, broiled fried, baked or raw.  Make it meaty, meatless or a mixture of both.  The combinations and permutations are seemingly endless.  There are foods from every ethnic group the world has ever known and probably some from ethnic groups that are nothing more than a figment of their author’s imagination.

Then, once we’ve eaten ourselves beyond the point of satiation we can finally turn our attention to the diet books, which will tell us why everything we’ve been doing for the last several thousand years is all wrong.  There are high-carb, low-carb, no-carb diets.  Diets from doctors who we should trust.  Diets from celebrities, who, if many of us were being honest, we trust more than the doctors with professional medical training.

While the recipe books may tell us the numbers that each meal serves, the general tenor of all these books is about me rather than we.  Not that we need any help.  As a single person I can tell you that sometimes,serves four, simply means that it takes one person just a little longer to polish the dish off. Perhaps, it is telling that we have a foodie subculture and not an “eatie” one.  Often it all seems to be about the kinds and amounts of food we consume and not who it is that we consume the food with.

There are worthwhile books out there, but one has to be willing to hunt for them.  One such book is Supper of the Lamb, by Robert Farrar Capon, a retired episcopal priest and food writer.  A more recent book is Born Round: The Secret History of A Full-Time Eater, by noted restaurant critic, Frank Bruni.  In Bruni’s story elements such as family history, family dinner and self-image play into the story of his relationship with food.

In this class, students will be encouraged to share their own stories about their relationships with food, and with eating together.  Whether these be stories of family dinners, or dormitory meals, or lone meals in front of the TV, students will be given the opportunity to talk about how meals shared, or perhaps unshared have shaped them. Continue reading


Common Eating 3 – Course Outline

I’ve written in the last couple of days about wanting to create a seminary course around the idea of Common Eating.  Post number 1 gives my rationale for thinking this up in the first place.  Post number 2 suggests a possible marking scheme.  Post number 3, for today, provides the outline.  Over the next two weeks I plan to flesh out that outline.

Week 1 – Introduction and Overview Continue reading