Radical Hospitality – A Reading List: Updated for 2020

by Christine Sine

Hospitality reading list.

Hospitality and the Kingdom of God is as many of you are aware the Godspace theme for the next few months. There is still time to contribute if you are interested but for those who already have your interest stirred and want to read more on the topic here are some books to consider reading:

Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition by Christine Pohl. This is still my absolute favourite book on hospitality and the theological perspective that should turn our world upside down.

Radical Hospitality: Benedict’s Way of Love by Lonni Collins Pratt with Father Daniel Homan. This is an inspirational book on the tried and true Benedictine way of life and hospitality.

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba. This excellent book is not specifically about hospitality but hospitality is such an important part of how we eat that I think it needs to be included here.

Take this Bread by Sara Miles. This is a wonderful and challenging memoir of how Sara was converted and then reached out with passion through the sharing of food at the communion table for those at the margins.

A Meal With Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community and Mission around the Table by Tim Chester. Another thought provoking book about God’s purposes in the ordinary act of sharing a meal as an opportunity for grace, community and mission.

Befriending the Stranger by Jean Vanier. Living together in peace, kindness and hospitality is the radical way of life for the L’Arche communities, which Jean Vanier talks about here.

Stone Soup was put together by Unilever and the United Nations World Food Programme to mark World Food Day in 2008. Just a great example of hospitality!

Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus by Christopher Smith and John Pattison. This is another must read for anyone who wants to move beyond church as a place to go to church as community and a place of hospitality and belonging.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. This book is a compilation of essays and recipes centered around food, community and connection. It “reminds readers of the joy found in a life around the table”.

A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community by John Pavlovitz. A challenge to the modern day Christian church to model the real hospitality of Jesus – where everyone has a seat at the table.

Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. I have not read this, but it is definitely on my reading list for the next few months.

A Christian View of Hospitality: Expecting Surprises by Michele Hershberger. This is another one on my reading list for the next couple of months.

Friendship at the Margins bChristopher L. Heuertz and Christine D. Pohl. Another challenging book about what it means to live in community and hospitality with those at the margins.

Realities of Faith by Basilea Schlink. The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary that Basilea Schlink founded has an incredible story of hospitality and God’s provision.

Hospitality (Christian Reflection) (A Series in Faith and Ethics) by Robert Kruschwitz, Ed. The Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, 2007. “Hospitality, once central to Christian life, has been tamed”, says Kruschwitz. Is the practice of graciously welcoming one another, especially the stranger, a lost art? Fourteen reflections. The link is the pdf that can be downloaded for free!

Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference by Letty M Russell. This is another book I have not read but it piqued my interest. Russell draws on feminist and postcolonial thinking to show how we are colonized and colonizing, each of us bearing the marks of the history that formed us. With careful attention, she writes, we can build a network of hospitality that is truthful about our mistakes and inequities, yet determined to resist the contradictions that drive us apart. This kind of genuine solidarity requires us to cast off oppression and domination in order to truly welcome the stranger.

The Gift of the Stranger: Faith, Hospitality and Foreign Language Learning by David I. Smith and Barbara Carvill. The title says it all. This is a must read book for anyone studying a foreign language or working cross culturally.

Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers by Elizabeth Newman. Christian hospitality, according to Elizabeth Newman, is an extension of how we interact with God. It trains us to be capable of welcoming strangers who will challenge us and enhance our lives in unexpected ways, readying us to embrace the ultimate stranger: God.

Great Recipe Books To Use For Hospitality

The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon. This delightful book intertwines cooking and theology to produce a refreshing book filled with wisdom about cooking, hospitality and life.

Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Victor-Antoine D’Avila-Latourrette. From the monastery to the kitchen. This is a great collection of simple, inexpensive but nourishing recipes. It is worth checking out his other books too.

Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook is compiled and authored by Schlabach with assistance from Kristina Mast Burnett, recipe editor. I love this cookbook with stories, proverbs and recipes from around the world. Its companions More with Less and Simply in Seasonare also valuable resources for inexpensive seasonal cooking. There is even a Simply in Season Children’s Cookbookwhich at this stage, I have not experimented with but it teaches kids about where food comes from and how to prepare it – always a fun part of hospitality.

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Mary Sayler June 10, 2014 - 10:06 am

Thanks, Christine. The healing and up-building of the church Body of Christ relies heavily on the Holy Spirit and hospitality! To encourage other Christian poets and writers to consider this, I highlighted the post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog – http://christianpoetsandwriters.blogspot.com. May God help us to be loving, kind, and hospitable to one another in Jesus’ Name.

Christine Sine June 10, 2014 - 10:14 am

Thanks Mary – we should end up with a great resource list here from many different perspectives

penelopeswithinbank June 14, 2014 - 2:10 am

Thank you for this wonderful reminder of Christian hospitality. I have been to my bookshelves and dug out Tim Chester and Homan & Pratt! Good things to read right now – we are about to celebrate the first anniversary of opening our new home as a small retreat house especially for those wearied by full-time ministry and so the reminder of radical hospitality is a good one! http://www.the-vine-atmaysfarm.com

Christine Sine June 14, 2014 - 6:28 am

Wonderful Penelope. I think we all need this reminder periodically. Every success with your venture it looks interesting.

Faith, Hospitality and Foreign Language Learning – Godspace July 11, 2017 - 3:06 am

[…] Have you ever thought of foreign language learning as a form of hospitality? I know I hadn’t until a friend I visited in Portland last week gave me The Gift of the Stranger: Faith, Hospitality and Foreign Language Learning  by David I Smith and Barbara Carvill. I have added this must read to my Hospitality reading list […]

Hospitality, Opening Doorways to the Kingdom – The Complete Series. – Godspace August 8, 2017 - 3:02 am

[…] Radical Hospitality – A Reading List ❆ […]


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