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Professor of theology and agrarian studies speaks about the grace of food

Animal, Vegetable, Miraxle book coverNorman Wirzba, professor of theology, ecology, and rural life at Duke Divinity School, spoke in Haggin Auditorium on September 13 at Transylvania’s fall convocation. His lecture, “The Grace of Good Food,” continued the theme of this year’s First Engagements Community Book Project choice, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.

Wirzba is interested in the intersection of theology, philosophy, ecology, and agrarian and environmental studies. In particular, he focuses on understanding and promoting practices that will equip both rural and urban communities to be more faithful and responsible members of creation. His current projects focus on eating as a spiritual discipline, theological reflection as informed by place, and agrarianism as a viable and comprehensive cultural force.

Norman WirzbaHis lecture focused on the grace of food as well as the act of saying grace for food, which he believes is a vital practice for the renewal of communities and the created world. “Saying grace introduces us to a new understanding of ourselves,” he said.

Wirzba has published The Paradise of God: Renewing Religion in an Ecological Age and Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight. He edited The Essential Agrarian Reader: The Future of Culture, Community, and the Land and The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry. He serves as editor for the book series Culture of the Land: A Series in the New Agrarianism, published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Read more about this year's First Engagements project in Transylvania Magazine's Summer 2009 issue

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