Robert Karris spreads before us a unique and delightful framing of the food theme in the Gospel of Luke.
Karris describes the food and drink popular in Jesus’ day. He also documents the social, political, and general contexts in which the food was prepared and eaten. He outlines the social roles Jesus assumes in Luke’s Gospel in relation to food and meals, as well as the relationship between women and food. Karris also examines the eucharistic implications of the way food and drink are portrayed.
This volume invites readers to get actively involved in the process of discovery by checking Scripture references alongside the author. Food themes in the other three Gospels are also briefly compared with Luke’s Gospel. Questions to stimulate an appetite for discussion or reflection and suggestions for further reading are provided at the end of each chapter.
Robert J. Karris, OFM, ThD, is head of research at the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, New York. He has published more than fifteen books, including Liturgical Press titles Jesus and the Marginalized in John’s Gospel, Symphony of New Testament Hymns, and Commentary on Galatians and Romans.
. . . a totally fresh and imminently accessible resource for individual and group study of the New Testament.
As a way to get 'a new angle on familiar materials,' Karris provides a delightful exploration of the terminology related to eating in Luke with 'serious levity.'
Catholic Biblical Quarterly
A recognized New Testament scholar, Robert Karris writes with `serious levity.' His delightful use of the imagery and vocabulary of eating and drinking keeps the interest of his reader as he lays out the challenges that the Lukan Jesus' theology of food `puts on our plates.' Karris' opening chapter presents important insights into the real life experience of food and drink in the first century world of Jesus and Luke. He then uses this knowledge to illuminate Jesus' eating habits, his actions and teachings at meals, and the food imagery in his parables. Karris has fashioned a `meal' that provides enticing and nourishing food for thought, meat for good homilies, and staples for a life of Christian discipleship.
Marion C. Moeser, OSF, Washington Theological Union, Washington, D.C.
Attentive readers of Luke's Gospel claim that Jesus seems to be `always eating'-he often seems to be on his way to a meal, at a meal, or coming from a meal. Why such an emphasis on food? Robert Karris has explored that question as a biblical scholar for two decades-and now, in this enlightening and entertaining volume, he makes his observations known to the general public. He writes in a lively style, enticing us with levity and anecdotes to discover the surprisingly significant role that meals played in the life and work and teaching of Jesus. Why do Jesus' enemies call him `a glutton and a drunkard'? Why is the kingdom of God like a banquet? Why don't his disciples fast? And just how is he `made known to us in the breaking of bread'?
Mark Allan Powell, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Gourmet and Lukan scholar Robert Karris has made yet another fine contribution to Lukan studies. Karris has a fine summary of food in the cultural contexts of Jesus' world (both pagan and Jewish). He shows convincingly how central food is to Luke and develops a careful theological understanding of the many dimensions of food, eating, and hospitality in the life of Jesus according to Luke. His chapter on `Food and Women' is a gem. This is a banquet table with something very good for all-the target audience of continuing education teachers and also sophisticated New Testament scholars. Bon appetit!
David M. Scholer, Professor of New Testament, Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California
Twenty years after reading Karris' insightful Luke, Artist and Theologian I still share memorable quotes from that volume with my students, such as `Jesus got himself killed because of the way he ate.' Expanding the chapter on the theme of food from that previous work, Karris provides further fare, rich in insights into food practices in Jesus' day and challenges readers about contemporary practices concerning food consumption and distribution. Karris once again serves up a rich banquet for students of the Third Gospel.
Barbara E. Reid, OP, PhD, Professor of New Testament Studies, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois
. . . offers a delightful introduction to the Lukan Jesus' preoccupation with food provision and table fellowship, written with self-styled `serious levity' and nicely spiced with insights from St. Bonaventure, current scholarship, and contemporary culture.
Karris once expressed his interest in meals with the provocative remark, "Jesus was killed for the way he ate." Now, this book on meals and table fellowship is no less provocative and enlightening. Best of all, it is a comprehensive view of meals and food in many gospels. Rich in background and detail and perceptive of the symbolism of food, guests and fellowship, Karris' study is tasty, nourishing and digestible. Best of all, the aroma of his humor permeates every page and renders it appetizing. Rarely are such serious books rendered in so accessible a manner.
Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
Readers will enjoy this appetizing way of entering into Luke's theology.
The Bible Today
This tidy volume will serve the purpose of providing what might be described as well prepared and nourishing fast food.
Catholic StudiesAn online Journal
This is a delightful book, a treat for all readers by itself. It contains the most complete repertoire on the theme of food in Luke's Gospel of which I know, and provides comparable lists for John, Mark, and Matthew. I particularly liked the first chapter on the realia of food and drink during the time of Jesus and Luke where we learn more about a poor person's diet and the etiquette of a true symposium. The final question for reflection aptly deals with inclusiveness at our meals and Eucharist.
Hans-Josef Klauck, OFM, Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature, The University of Chicago Divinity School