Like many seekers of the authentic life, Fred Bahnson sought answers to big questions like "What does it mean to follow God? and How should I live my life? "But after divinity school at Duke, Bahnson began to find answers not in a pulpit, but at the handle of a plow. Read more...
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Like many seekers of the authentic life, Fred Bahnson sought answers to big questions like "What does it mean to follow God? and How should I live my life? "But after divinity school at Duke, Bahnson began to find answers not in a pulpit, but at the handle of a plow. After his agrarian conversion, Bahnson started a faith-based community garden in rural North Carolina to help its members grow real food and to feed his own spiritual hunger.
"Soil and Sacrament" tells the story of how Bahnson and people of faith all over America are re-rooting themselves in the land, reconnecting with their food and each other, and praying with their very lives the prayer of the early Christian monks: "We beg you, make us truly alive." Through his journeys to four different faith communities--Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Jewish--Bahnson explores the con-nections between spiritual nourishment and the way we feed our bodies with the sensitivity, personal knowledge, and insight shared by Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben.
"Soil and Sacrament" is a book about communion in its deepest sense--an inspiring and joyful meditation on what grows above the earth, beneath it, and inside each one of us.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-08
- Reviewer: Staff
Bahnson (Making Peace with the Land) is outstanding in his field. Now director of the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Bahnson has spent a lot of time in a lot of fields. He developed his field studies into essays of depth and inspiration, humility and, yes, frustration, for he is dealing with the earth and the fullness—or dratted emptiness—thereof. More specifically, he deals with soil (not dirt), a living organism that “both craves life and wants to produce more life, even a hundredfold.” With Christians, he plants in Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina at Advent, plows the Lord’s Acre in North Carolina at Eastertide, and fertilizes Tierra Nueva in Washington State at Pentecost; with Jews, he harvests during Sukkot at Adamah Farm in Connecticut. Like Anne Lamott’s spiritual writing, Bahnson’s essays introduce people of deep faith, imprisoned pasts, ticklish humor, and hope-filled vision, farmer/priests being church by feeding the hungry and praying in the dirt. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Associates Literary Management. (Aug. 6)