O Taste and See! The Spirituality of Food

A Spiritual Formation Elective



Sept. 22, 7:00 p.m.-Sept. 25, 12:15 p.m., 2019


From fasting to feasting, food has played a significant role in the spiritual lives of Christians throughout history. This centrality of food is rooted in the Scriptures of Israel, whose stories of the Passover and manna from heaven inform the petition for "daily bread" in the Lord's Prayer and the breaking of the bread at the Last Supper. This course will not only examine scriptural traditions relating to spiritual practices surrounding food but will also consider the significance of food in Christian tradition and contemporary spiritual practices, including the sharing of communal meals and the sacrament of Holy Communion. We will consider mindful eating practices in a culture of overabundance and what it might look like to read the Bible with the hungry. We will also bake bread together and serve a meal at the Table, a bi-weekly community meal offered at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.

This class is open to all regardless of their participation in the Spiritual Formation Certificate Program. If you are interested in learning more about the certificate program, please e-mail us for details at ConEd@pts.edu or visit the Spiritual Formation website.


Participants will:

  • examine the place of food in biblical traditions, from the Garden of Eden to the Lord's Table;
  • discuss ethical questions related to sustainability, environmentalism, and hunger (both local and global);
  • ereflect on our personal relationships with food and the the roles of fasting and feasting in our spiritual lives; and
  • engage with contemporary readings on food kitchens and the dinner church movement.


Dan Frayer-Griggs graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2008. He holds a Ph.D. in New Testament and has taught Old Testament, New Testament, and World Religions courses at Carlow University and Duquesne University. Dan also serves as a Ruling Elder at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.









$380. Registration includes all refreshment breaks, Monday lunch and dinner, and Tuesday lunch. Remaining meals and lodging are student's responsibility.


Limited lodging is available on campus. Reservations can be made by contacting our Reception Office at reception@pts.edu or 412-362-5610.  


Directions to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Free parking is available on campus behind the chapel and library.


Download the general schedule for this class.


2.0 CEUs. A certificate is available upon request to the Office of Continuing Education.


Please do your best to read the required books before your arrival. If you wish to be in the Spiritual Formation Certificate program, you should prepare a one-page reflection paper for each required book; these will be collected the first evening of class. If you do not plan to seek the certificate but are taking the class for personal enrichment, the reflection papers are not required, but we strongly encourage you to read the texts to get as much as possible from the class time.


Sara Miles, Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion (Ballantine Books, 2008).

Norman Wirzba, Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating. Second Edition. (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Kendall Vanderslice, We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God (Eerdmans, 2019).

Wendell Berry, "The Pleasures of Eating", an essay provided upon registration.


E-mail ConEd@pts.edu or call 412-924-1345.