Ritualized food aid: A diaconal meals project in times of the covid-19 crisis as liturgical practice?

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    Shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, three faith-based organizations initiated a meals project in Amsterdam (NL), in a highly multicultural city district. They started delivering free meals to people in need. Care organizations enlisted clients whom they thought could benefit from this service. Volunteers delivered the meals at home and established relationships with recipients. The project provided relief to a growing number of people, offering free food and social support to recipients with different needs (e.g., older adults, afraid to leave their homes; impaired people unable to prepare meals; people in financial troubles, migrant workers made redundant by the crisis, etc.).
    This paper presents the following key findings of research on this meals project: a) it outlines both how (marginalized) people were enabled to developed agency by the project and how they experienced ‘inversed sacramentality’; b) it illustrates how, thus, the meals project was a food practice enabling agency, charged with symbolic meaning, experiences of ‘sacramental inversion’ and with eschatological traits (based on a vision of God’s world). Accordingly, the paper argues that the project had a liturgical, even sacramental character: a performance of ‘being in Christ’ in which active participation leads to a deeper initiation into the Christ mystery.
    Originele taal-2English
    StatusIn preparation - 2021
    EvenementPractices of Faith in Times of National and Global Crises - Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
    Duur: 15 mrt. 202117 mrt. 2021


    ConferencePractices of Faith in Times of National and Global Crises
    Land/RegioSouth Africa

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