With the Easter season drawing to a close and summer (or winter) just around the corner, it is time to get ready for some hospitality. If you are heading into summer BBQs and picnics are probably on the agenda. If you are getting ready for winter then some good meals around the fire with friends should be at the top of your list.
Hospitality was our theme several years ago and I have just revisited this enriching series of articles. I thought you might like to revisit them too.
Here are a few of my favorite books on hospitality to get you in the mood.
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.
Soil and Sacrament: Fred Bahnson. This inspirational book tells the story of how Bahnson and people of faith across America are re-rooting themselves in the land, and reconnecting with their food and each other.
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.
To the Table: A Spirituality of Food, Farming and Community by Lisa Graham McMinn. Another inspirational book that connects us to the joys and trials of growing, cooking, preserving and sharing food.
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 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.
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.
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.
Hospitality. Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics. 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 to a site where the pdf can be downloaded for free!
Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference, 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. 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. Not for the teetotaler though as the recipes tend to be heavy on wine. It is worth checking out his other books too.
Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook. 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 Season, are also valuable resources for inexpensive seasonal cooking. There is even a Simply in Season Children’s Cookbook, which at this stage I have not experimented with but it takes kids from where food comes from to how to prepare it – always a fun part of hospitality.