Bread Body Spirit— Next to Godliness
Bread Body Spirit
What's so divine about food, anyway? The Birmingham Foodie Book Club reads Bread Body Spirit.
—hungry friends (May, 2009)
Bread Body Spirit reviewed by Annemarie Scobey-Polacheck in U.S. Catholic:
This is a book that will make you hungry. You'll be hungry for the rich curried vegetable soup in the chapter entitled “The Parable of the Squash,” and you'll be hungry to take a new, more meaningful look at the meals you serve and eat.
Editor Alice Peck set out to create a compilation of already-published essays on the spirituality of food and eating. The result is a nourishing collection of reflections by authors of different faith traditions.
In a world that juxtaposes fast food with an obsession with dieting, Peck's anthology invites the reader to go deeper. “Looking closely at the relationship between bread, body, and spirit—the food we eat, how we eat it, and who we invite to our tables to share it—can be a framework to study what is sacred about a seemingly mundane part of our lives.” The essays she includes are well-chosen. I saw...
—U.S. Catholic (November 16, 2008)
Cooking With Ideas interviews Alice on Bread Body Spirit
—Cooking With Ideas (October, 2008)
A Buddhist master had a cook who was a simple man. One day, the cook burned his hand while preparing a meal and suddenly achieved the Buddhist goal of enlightenment, as the nature of all existence became clear to him. Excited, he asked the master what he should do next. "Keep cooking," came the answer.
The story comes from Tibetan lamas by way of Lama Surya Das, a Buddhist teacher and author in Cambridge, who values its elemental wisdom: You don't need a house of worship to encounter the spiritual; it's found in the pattern of daily living, such as cooking the food we need. (Emily Dickinson made the same point in a poem, though not about food, that Das likes to cite: "Some keep the Sabbath going to Church -/I keep it, staying at Home -/With a bobolink for a Chorister -/And an Orchard, for a Dome.")
The story of the cook is Das's contribution in a forthcoming anthology, "Bread, Body, Spirit," which draws on numerous traditions and their takes on eating. Explaining the motivation behind the volume, editor Alice Peck, writes in the introduction: "Everybody needs to eat, to be nourished. It's simple. It's unending. Food presents us with a vast opportunity: through our experiences of food we can sustain a constant connection to the Sacred that pervades our lives."
Glimpsing the divine in a hot dog won't surprise devout believers who say grace before every meal; gratitude for plenty in a world where many starve is a recognition of blessing. Yet "Bread, Body, Spirit" includes contributions from outside organized religion. "Since You Asked," a poem by Williams College English professor Lawrence Raab, comes from the pen of a self-described agnostic...Read Full Article
... In the book Bread Body Spirit, Alice Peck laments the moments missed by "not paying attention to the poetry of the ordinary."
Taking note of the food we eat and who we share it with makes what can be a mundane event a sacred event, she writes. Even planting a seed is spiritual, an act of faith.Read Full Article
Interfaith Radio presents "I Can Eat Chocolate for Breakfast" by Jessica Swift.
Bread Body Spirit is an intellectual and thought provoking look at how the human spirit is fueled. A poignant and thoughtful title, highly recommended.
—California Bookwatch (August 1, 2008)
Bread Body Spirit is filled with links between agriculture and the sacred, between the food we eat and death (and the ways we are all ultimately food ourselves), between cooking and other forms of right action, and between all this and the notion of grace.
—Cooking With Ideas
With an eye for emotion over academia and a collection of powerhouse contributors like Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalom, Bread, Body, Spirit offers a completely accessible and engaging set of short stories, poems, and religious texts that made me laugh and feel well equipped with "Torah" to bring to my own dinner table.
—The Jew & The Carrot
Visit Cookin' in the 'Cuse blog to read what contributor Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows and friends have to say about Bread, Body, Spirit.
I enjoyed reading the book, as it revealed the vast ways people approach food and find spiritual meaning within it.
There are important truths to glean from these different perspectives that can help me as an Evangelical live more responsibly and think more carefully about food.Read Full Review in Christian Epicurean
Next to Godliness
Bread Body Spirit— Next to Godliness