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Formative Feasting

Practices and Virtue Ethics in Deuteronomy’s Tithe Meal and the Corinthian Lord’s Supper

Formative Feasting

Practices and Virtue Ethics in Deuteronomy’s Tithe Meal and the Corinthian Lord’s Supper

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Hardback

£72.35

Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc
ISBN: 9781433190032
Number of Pages: 286
Published: 26/01/2022
Width: 15 cm
Height: 22.5 cm

The Bible is filled with commands to care for the poor. But how does Scripture envision the people of God becoming a community capable of following those commands? In Formative Feasting, Dr. Michael J. Rhodes argues that meals stand at the heart of Scripture’s strategy for moral formation oriented towards justice and solidarity. To make this case, Rhodes brings together a constructive, theological account of moral formation through practice with rigorous exegesis of the Deuteronomic tithe-meal and Corinthian Lord’s Supper. By drawing on virtue ethics, ritual studies, and socio-economic research on meals in the ancient Near East and Greco-Roman world, Rhodes both demonstrates that these meals intended to transform the individual and corporate character of the communities that practiced them, and uncovers the "mechanics" of moral formation embedded within them. The result is a book that models a partnership between theological ethics and theological interpretation that overcomes the oft-lamented gap between exegesis and ethics, with important implications for contemporary communities of faith.

Formative Feasting will be of special interest to researchers, students, and church leaders interested in moral formation and the Bible, as well as those interested in feasting and eating in Scripture. Seminary and college courses focused on issues of food in the biblical world, as well as those exploring the relationship between exegesis and ethics, will find Formative Feasting an essential addition to course readings.

Michael Rhodes

The Reverend Dr. Michael J. Rhodes (PhD, University of Aberdeen/Trinity College Bristol) is a Lecturer in Old Testament at Carey Baptist College and the co-author of Practicing the King’s Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give (2018).

"This is a truly remarkable book that weaves together an illuminating examination of key biblical texts with a profound analysis of the significance of practices in the formation of individual character and social virtues. Michael Rhodes here offers a brilliant exemplar of theological interpretation of Scripture, which at the same time makes a powerful case for the importance of (eucharistic) meals in ecclesial formation and social engagement." -John M.G. Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University "A hermeneutic of virtue formation is fresh and much needed in biblical interpretation. It is also demanding. With flair, depth and range Michael demonstrates the fecundity of such an approach to the Bible, with a focus on feasting in both the Old Testament and the New. This work is a major scholarly achievement and will also be of great service to the church. My hope is that Michael's work will call forth further research in this area." -Rev Dr Craig G Bartholomew, Director, the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge "Rhodes accomplishes a rare feat: He brings together recent analyses of Hebrew Bible and New Testament passages with theological ethics and formation. As a result, the book offers an exciting, cross-disciplinary conversation that will bear fruit for biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors. And all this in a discussion on food!" -Dr. Peter Altmann, Postdoctoral Researcher in Hebrew Bible, University of Zurich "Michael Rhodes's compelling study is a veritable feast of integrative analysis. Rhodes superbly captures the character-formative power of the Deuteronomic tithe-meal and the Lord's Supper as prescribed by Paul. In so doing, Rhodes brings together virtue ethics, ritual studies, and socio-economic analysis, all for a theological purpose: to model beloved community." -Dr. William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary "Michael Rhodes's Formative Feasting is a stunning example of the benefits that accompany a truly interdisciplinary and intertestamental approach to the Bible, theology, and ethics. Don't be fooled by the textual foci, as important as Deuteronomy and 1 Corinthians are. Readers will gain much insight about these texts here, but this book is just as much about virtue ethics, ritual and liturgical ethics, and ecclesial formation. All by itself Part I of this volume is a tour de force that can stand alone and is well worth the price of the book. Rhodes models and then demonstrates what difference the Bible, theology, and ethics can make when they are pressed down, shaken together, and then, run over!" -Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament and Professor of Law, Duke University "In Formative Feasting, Michael Rhodes offers a rich study on the tithe feast of Deuteronomy 14 and the Lord's Supper in 1 Corinthians 11. By drawing upon virtue ethics, ritual and liturgical studies, and biblical studies, Rhodes convincingly displays how these feasts were meant to form virtue within the communities of Ancient Israel and early Christianity. Highly recommended, especially for those interested in theological interpretation!" -Dr. Andrew Abernethy, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College

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