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Tue, Dec 20


Covenant Presbyterian Church

Food For Thought: Food & Faith – Dr. Michael Stephens

Join us as we hear from Dr. Michael Stephens, Professor from Johnson & Wales discuss Food and Faith.

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Food For Thought: Food & Faith – Dr. Michael Stephens
Food For Thought: Food & Faith – Dr. Michael Stephens

Time & Location

Dec 20, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1000 E Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28204, USA

About the Event

On TUESDAY, December 20, we'll gather to hear Dr. Michael Stephens, Professor from Johnson & Wales discuss Food & Faith. 

Food is more than nutrition. It is also, as Roland Barthes says, a form of communication. It's not surprising, then, that religions communicate their beliefs through food. The Chosen People ate manna in the wilderness; Jesus fed the five thousand with fish and bread; Prince Sattva, a previous incarnation of Gautama Buddha, allowed a starving tiger to eat his body. Like a mother feeding her baby, giving sustenance to another is a universal expression of love. Food preferences also communicate ethical beliefs and differentiate followers of religions. The Kashrut forbids the consumption of pork and the mixing of meat and dairy.  Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism share the value of ahimsa, which is practiced through vegetarianism. The Holy Quaran forbids alcohol consumption. Other religions, such as the Native America Church and the Brazilian church of Santo Daime, consume mind-altering plants like the peyote cactus and the ayahuasca vine as sacraments. Eve and Adam began the human story by eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Jesus symbolized his sacrifice and the salvation of humanity from original sin by sharing bread and wine. Studying food and religion deepens our understanding of our own beliefs and helps us appreciate and respect the beliefs of all sacred traditions.

Michael Stephens is a Professor in the Arts & Science Dept of Johnson & Wales University. He grew up in Northern Ireland during the 60s and 70s and moved to America in 1985. He teaches World Religions and Food and Religion at JWU and is a member of the American Academy of Religion. He is currently working on a book: The Spirituality of Gardening with Native Plants.

-Lunch service will begin at 11:30 a.m.

  • Because Covenant will be catering this event for us, if you want to have lunch, you must make and pay for a lunch reservation one full week before the event.
  • The cost of lunch will be $13 per person and will and will include:  and will be due when you register.
  • You are welcome to attend the event without having lunch.
  • You are also welcome to bring your own lunch.

Please note that this program will be IN PERSON ONLY. We will NOT have a virtual option. We will NOT be recording the event.

MeckMIN promotes interfaith collaboration to foster understanding, compassion and justice. We envision a community that lives by the highest values and core virtues of its rich faith traditions and respects the dignity of every person. We live out these values by bringing together people from different faith perspectives and promoting congregational engagement through dialogue and fellowship.

CLICK HERE to register.  Please feel free to contact LeDayne Mcleese Polaski, Executive Director of MeckMIN, with any additional questions.

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