CRAFTING THE TABLE

Participation in the real through work and eating: a vision of Eucharist

 

ABSTRACT

We are all participants in the world, each and every member participating in the life and well-being of each other. Our participation is most realized in two primary ways: in our work and in our eating. These two things, when regarded only as means to an end, lead to a sense of drudgery and irrelevance with work and disconnection from the earth that sustains all life. In three movements, correlated to three ‘tables,’ I propose that work and eating, in and of themselves, are the fulfillment of our participation in the interconnected world.

 

The first section focuses on a sacramental understanding of Creation Proper where the world is presented as the first table. God invites humanity to participate as Eucharistic beings within a community of the created, and they enjoy a fullness of communing with God through eating and working. But community at the first table has been fractured. The Lord’s Supper, the second table, restores the possibility of being drawn into community with God through work and eating. This section focuses on the early history of the Lord’s Supper feasts and highlights the human-made nature of bread and wine. Finally, the third table is the table we craft today. While drawing from creation theology, ecological ethics, sociology, and personal antidotes from my experience as a furniture maker, I call for a renewed vision of work and eating that demands mutuality, allowing all created things to fully participate.

Full paper to be completed by April 20th, 2017. Final publication 35 pages.