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That All May FlourishComparative Religious Environmental Ethics$
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Laura Hartman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190456023.001.0001

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Glimpsing God’s Infinite Goodness

(p.46) (p.47) 2 Eating
That All May Flourish

Nelson Reveley

Oxford University Press

This chapter asks how, in a good world created by a good God, humans should understand the inherent tragedy that all flourishing comes at a price: others’ demise. Food and eating seem to pose the ultimate question of Christian theodicy: must our very sustenance require the destruction of other lives? Critiquing parallels others make between life-giving predation and the redemptive value of Christ’s crucifixion, the chapter argues that there is ultimately something unanswerable about the suffering and death that attend eating in creation. Nevertheless, the chapter maintains that God’s goodness can still be witnessed and experienced in the elements of eating that image divine grace, transcendence, creativity, care, generosity, and compassion. Furthermore, it holds that certain eating practices can cultivate people’s attentiveness and capacity to minimize and mitigate the destruction entailed in eating.

Keywords:   Christianity and ecology, environmental ethics, food, consumption, Robert Adams, Nelson Reveley

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