In Still Hungry at the Feast, Episcopal priest and professor Samuel Torvend invites readers to expand their experience and understanding of the Mass, the Holy Eucharist, as more than a personal encounter with the risen Christ. Drawing on recent Jesus research, the long history of eucharistic reflection among Christians, and contemporary commitments to economic justice, Still Hungry at the Feast invokes the integral relationship between eucharistic practice and eucharistic mission. Here the ecumenical pattern and meaning of the Mass opens toward care for our wounded creation, solidarity with the poor and outcast, keeping the fast, and recovering a eucharistic economy. Lectionary references will assist those charged with liturgical preparation, while preachers and catechists will find guidance in the eucharistic homilies that conclude the book.
Samuel Torvend, PhD, is a priest in the Diocese of Olympia and professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He is the author of Flowing Water, Uncommon Birth: Christian Baptism in a Post-Christian Culture; Daily Bread, Holy Meal: Opening the Gifts of Holy Communion; and Luther and the Hungry Poor: Gathered Fragments. His many published articles focus on the Eucharist and social ethics.
"Samuel Torvend's Still Hungry at the Feast is a beautifully written primer on the spirituality of living eucharistically; living what we pray and praying what we live. Continuing the work of Monika Hellwig and others, Torvend asks `who is hungry at the feast?' and proceeds to expand that question into contemporary realities regarding the eucharist as the liturgy of the world in the face of real hunger as well as real capabilities to distribute food equitably. Eschewing the facile trends of the casualness of `word' and `meal,' Torvend draws on Scripture, particularly the gospel of Luke, a breadth of early Christian tradition, and his own facility in Lutheran, Anglican, and Roman Catholic theologies and practices to guide his readers towards the reality that every eucharist is a `mass of creation' rooted in the materiality that God has created and with which we are intimately related. Both generous in breadth and focused in intent, this small book exemplifies the `economy of grace' in which the author places the eucharist, gift of God and work of human hands. May we take into action the `economy of grace' at the heart of this writing!"
Lizette Larson-Miller Huron University College, University of Western Ontario Author of Sacramentality Renewed: Contemporary Conversations in Sacramental Theology
"In Still Hungry at the Feast, Torvend sets a bountiful table of food for thought, as well as a large helping of troubling questions. Equally at home in a variety of ecumenical understandings of what the eucharistic table often means for Christians, Torvend challenges readers to broaden their perspective, to reflect on what eucharistic table practice has to say about the larger feast of life that leaves so many still hungry at the table. The world is God's household, with a bountiful table set for all life, yet that `household of the world is marked by deathly inequities.' This book is a passionate appeal to mend the breach between liturgy and life, between Eucharist and justice for all God's creatures. Urgent questions face liturgists, homilists, catechists, and indeed all at the eucharistic table. `Who is still hungry at the feast' of life, and how can this table model and inspire care for those still hungry at that larger table? A much-needed book with timely insights and questions."
Gil Ostdiek, OFM, Professor of Liturgy, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
"In these pages, Torvend pushes beyond familiar personal and communal meanings of the Christian eucharist to its large implications for social well-being and the good of the earth itself. The worldly ground and horizon of eucharistic practice emerges clearly here through fresh biblical reflections and many voices out of Christian history. Far more than an academic treatise, this is an urgent plea that Christian eucharistic feasting address the cries of the world's hungry and poor, the afflicted and oppressed."
Thomas H. Schattauer, Professor of Liturgics, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa