Soil and Sacrament by Fred Bahnson
A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith

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Bahnson’s story and its message is constantly, deeply thought-provoking...A profound, moving treatise on finding God in gardening.


Part spiritual quest, part agricultural travelogue, this moving and profound exploration of the joy and solace found in returning to the garden is inspiring and beautiful.


Like many seekers of the authentic life, Fred Bahnson sought answers to big questions like What does it mean to follow God? and How should I live my life? But after divinity school at Duke, Bahnson began to find answers not in a pulpit, but at the handle of a plow. After his agrarian conversion, Bahnson started a faith-based community garden in rural North Carolina to help its members grow real food and to feed his own spiritual hunger.

Soil and Sacrament tells the story of how Bahnson and people of faith all over America are re-rooting themselves in the land, reconnecting with their food and each other, and praying with their very lives the prayer of the early Christian monks: “We beg you, make us truly alive.” Through his journeys to four different faith communities—Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Jewish—Bahnson explores the con­nections between spiritual nourishment and the way we feed our bodies with the sensitivity, personal knowledge, and insight shared by Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben.

Soil and Sacrament is a book about communion in its deepest sense—an inspiring and joyful meditation on what grows above the earth, beneath it, and inside each one of us.

About Fred Bahnson

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Fred Bahnson is a writer, permaculture gardener, and the cofounder and former director of Anathoth Community Garden. The coauthor of Making Peace With the Land, his essays have appeared in Oxford American, Image, The Sun, Christian Science Monitor, and Best American Spiritual Writing 2007. He is the recipient of a Kellogg Food & Community fellowship and a North Carolina Artist fellowship in Creative Nonfiction. He lives with his wife and three sons in western North Carolina and is the director of the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.
Published August 6, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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on May 29 2013

Bahnson’s story and its message is constantly, deeply thought-provoking...A profound, moving treatise on finding God in gardening.

Read Full Review of Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritu... | See more reviews from Kirkus

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