Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table

Simon Carey Holt

Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table
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Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table

Simon Carey Holt

Sitting down at a table to eat is an activity so grounded in the ordinary, so basic to the daily routines of life, we rarely ponder it beyond the simple inquiry, ‘What’s for dinner?‘ However, scratch a little deeper and you discover in eating one of the most meaning-laden activities of our lives, one so immersed in human longing and relationship it’s a practice of sacred dimensions. In this age of culinary infatuations, global food crises, celebrity chefs and ‘biggest losers’, the need to reflect more seriously upon eating is pressing.

A trained chef, teacher, social researcher, minister of religion and homemaker, Simon Carey Holt draws on experience and research to explore the role of eating in our search for meaning and community. To do so, he invites us to sit at the tables of daily life - from kitchen tables to backyard barbecues, from cafe tables to the beautifully set tables of our city’s finest restaurants - and consider how our life at these tables interacts with our deepest values and commitments.


As we move towards our Christmas Day preparations for the ‘Meal to End All Meals’, with expectations heightened by all around you, let’s remember why we do this every single year, even if we are not religious, spiritual or family orientated. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by all around you, this engaging and sweet little book is an easy-to-read demonstration of our most social of activities.

Author Simon Carey Holt is the senior minister of Melbourne’s Collins Street Baptist Church, and prior to becoming a minister, Simon qualified and worked as a chef. His book is not an ode to organized religion but more a study of humanity through various meal times. He writes about culture, society and Melbourne. The book reminds us that we live in a community and that our most precious gift to each other is sitting around a table together.

Eating Heaven: Spirituality at the Table shows us how eating together is the most meaning-laden activity of our life: it’s how we communicate, and how we survive.

Chris Gordon is the Events Manager for Readings and is a committee member of The Stella Prize.

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