MEMPHIS — The Christian Brothers University Department of Religion and Philosophy and the Memphis Center for Food and Faith will present
Dr. Jennifer Ayres on March 26 with an address entitled “Come to the Table: Faith and Our Food System.” Dr. Ayres' lecture will take place in CBU's University Theater at 7:00 p.m.
The table around which Christians regularly gather—the Lord’s table—stands as a witness to God’s abundance, God’s presence in the material gifts of the earth, and God’s delight in the nourishment and enlivening of earthly bodies. Each time we share the bread and cup, we testify to God’s presence in the simple acts of eating and drinking together. What does this action mean, however, in the midst of a food system faced with such serious challenges as food insecurity, obstructed access to healthy and affordable food, community instability, environmental degradation, and the disenfranchisement of people? This presentation explores the relationship between the sacrament of the Eucharist and practices of resistance such as growing food, supporting farmers and workers, re-visioning agriculture, and relationship-building.
Jennifer Ayres’ research interests include religious environmental education; social activism and religious identity; faith formation in the context of popular culture; and feminist practical theology. She is the author of two books: Waiting for a Glacier to Move: Practicing Social Witness (2011, Wipf and Stock), and Good Food: Grounded Practical Theology (2013, Baylor University Press). Her current research investigates the educational task of cultivating Christian faith that is deeply rooted in our ecological context, with attention to the kinds of religious leaders needed for this work.
A frequent speaker on the topics of faith formation, religion and food, and Christian ecological theology and practice, Dr. Ayres also serves on the steering committee of the Green Seminaries Initiative and the Emory University Sustainable Food Committee. She has been awarded research grants from the Association of Theological Schools Lilly Research Grants and the Louisville Institute. Professor Ayres is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
A reception and book-signing will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.