Cathy C. CAMPBELL, Stations Of The Banquet. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2003. pp. 310. $19.95 pb. ISBN 0-8146-2938-5.
Reviewed by Michael J. TKACIK, Providence College, Providence, RI 02918

Cathy C. Campbell begins her consideration of the faith foundations of food justice by inviting the reader to ponder the majestic gift which creation is, and to explore, as we strive to exercise responsible dominion and stewardship over the earth, how integral land and the plethora of choices this gift presents to us are in God's creative plan and the social relationships intended for His creation. As we enter into this reflective process, we discover how the human disposition toward land and the fruits it bears has implications for how we relate to God and to one another, for we are challenged by the gift of creation to make choices which are not only life-giving to ourselves, but to all living things. The extent to which we make such choices shapes our relationships with God and one another as we either make choices which facilitate mutuality and harmony, or ones which cause breeches in these relationships (xi; xiii; 67; 70; 172f; 231-232). Hence, our disposition toward creation ought to be marked by deference, restraint and "self-limitation," not exploitation. Such a disposition stands in contrast to a secular society that is bent on production aimed toward efforts to satiate an unquenchable consumerism. The earth and the goods it affords us are appropriate objects of our desire, but our desire must be informed by the needs of others and our own superfluous abundance (14-19).

The Judaeo-Christian Tradition calls its faithful to share in the pathos of God and to embrace the prophetic task of attending to suffering (32-33). Campbell dispels the notion that the omnipresence of suffering renders one immobile, for love is "infinitely renewable," and faith communities serve to sustain responsive dispositions toward suffering in our midst (35). Furthermore, the Judeao-Christian Traditions are praxis-orientated, engaging the Holy via transformative engagement with others (36). As evidenced by Jesus' actions at the Last Supper, faith is lived out against the backdrop of complex social realities, and is challenged to express itself in love and service which frequently demands behavior that is the inverse of that perpetuated by the status quo (46-47; 62-69). Such counter-cultural behavior calls for a world-view that shapes our ways of seeing, understanding, and acting in such a way that disposes us to be open to the Holy in our midst, and directs us toward the needs of others. This enterprise must be cultivated and is subject to incessant growth as we strive to be inclusive, open and compassionate to others (52-53; 75-77; 91f; 250).

The teachings of Christ do much to foster such an imagination within us, for they challenge us to think about the assumptions of our life with others, and they invite us to imagine a different basis for our relationships. In particular, the Gospels illuminate our choices about property and community and how these choices determine our patterns of daily life (82 f; 109; 190-191; 250). We must not allow ourselves to be immobilized by a sense of scarcity, but be open to God's message of abundance and allow the Spirit to reveal new possibilities, horizons and life to us (132-133; 138-139; 214; 227; 264- 265). Such openness to the Spirit is the means of our own sanctification as well as the means by which we become "dwelling places for God" who evidence that love of God is inseparable from discipleship enacted in the particulars of our lives (210-214; 234-236).

Campbell's stated intention for this work is for it to serve as a "backbone for a communal prayer event, quiet day or retreat," as it parallels the traditional Stations of the Cross via its format (reflection on Scripture, visual focus, litanies) (279). Such a format would be edifying and would embody various spiritual "challenges" and "practices" called for in the work (faith, prayer, solidarity, inclusion, gratitude, praise, repentance, etc.). However, the text, with its prolific rooted-ness in Scripture and appendix on Community Food Security full of web sites that explore issues of food justice, also provides extensive "voices from the Tradition" which illuminate a vast array of topics dealing with the interconnection between faith and praxis, discipleship, spirituality and social justice, pneumatology, etc., and, thus, can also serve as an excellent resource for exploring the Judeao- Christian understanding of salvation through a "food-justice lens" apart from its intended format (171f; 287-292). In short, the work is successful in showing how the language of faith can "inspire and transform commitments, reshape imaginations and sustain constructive action" (xiv).

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