Transcendence at the Table
A Transfigurational Experience While Breaking Bread Together
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
158 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 x 0.32 in
- Published: October 2020
- Published: October 2020
- Published: October 2020
When is the last time you sat down for a meal, to break bread with other people, and experienced peace? Throughout the arc of the scriptural narrative the word "shalom" is used as a way to speak of the way of peace. This word shalom embodies the depiction of creation where all things would glorify to the Triune God as well as bear the image of the Triune God who seamlessly embraces love and belonging. What if the universal space at a table is where shalom is experienced relationally? What if the longing people have for love and belonging can be extended through hospitality at a table? Unification can happen when invitations are extended to come, participate, and communicate at the table as a reflection of the Imago Dei.
"What a feast! Dr. Julia Hurlow graciously sets the metaphorical table for us with this rich spread addressing our hunger for community and thirst for belonging. She plays the cook, the server, the host, and the co-participant in this written meal for our souls. Her words, and the life she lives, will encourage your heart and mind. Please follow her lead and nourish both your body and community by incarnating these truths."
--Matt Dyment, Wilderness instructor
"In Transcendence at the Table, Dr. Julia Hurlow masterfully champions a trinitarian theology of the table marked by love and belonging. With clarity and conviction, she holds space for each of us to reclaim a sense of the Imago Dei in ourselves and others. This book is a profound call to be about the deeper work of unity and not mere uniformity."
--Drew Moser, author of The Enneagram of Discernment: The Way of Vocation, Wisdom, and Practice
"For Julia, what happens at the table is not a theory but a lifestyle. I've observed firsthand how she pursues the life of presence she describes, where the table is wide and full of grace. This book is an invitation into a sacred space where we can discover more of God in and through each other. May we lean in and heed the call to return to the table, a place of hope and healing, beauty and belonging."
--Sarah E. Westfall, writer and host of the Not My Story podcast
"Dr. Hurlow's work is a prophetic and much-needed call back into the transformative realities of community and intimate connection that are fostered when life is lived around the table. In some ways Dr. Hurlow calls the church back to its roots as a community of believers, and yet she also calls us to anticipate the fullness of redemption when salvation is celebrated at the feast of the Lamb. Dr. Hurlow extends a powerful and much-needed invitation to step into a distinctly Christian way of living and being in the world, an identity that is embodied in life together at the table. So much of the brokenness experienced in the world today can be opened to redemption if we take Dr. Hurlow's call seriously to gather at the table in mutual relationship, to answer the invitation to unity and oneness in the name of God, Jesus, and Spirit. Put simply, Dr. Hurlow's work here is a vital and much-needed voice in our cultural climate today."
--Aaron Cloud, Pastor of Ministry Development, GracePoint Wesleyan Church, Brookings, South Dakota
"In a time when there has been a significant decline in the familial and communal identity around the table, Julia has a way of helping us reimagine with a new sense of appreciation, as we understand and recapture the value of the table once again, not only just a place where bread is broken, good food shared, stories told, a friendship built, but above all, the table is an altar, designed by God. Julia challenges us to have a renewed sense of wonder for that table, the extension of grace through the power of the Holy Spirit."
--Samuel Kefas Sarpiya, Executive Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation
"Julia offers a journey to explore the profound life-giving transformation that occurs when we gather around a table. In this work, we get a deep, beautiful imagery and a robust biblical narrative that give a framework for a lifelong exploration and participation in the table. Our own life experience of actual gatherings around Julia's table and the reshaping of our own hearts stand as a testament to the life-giving truth of these stories and values. As you dive into this work, you will find yourself reflecting on your own encounters at the table and be provoked with a longing to experience more."
--Tyler and Kristin Green, Community Catalyst for Hobby Lobby Ministry Investments and stay-at-home mother, respectively
"In a dramatic narrative Hurlow presents the lost art to know and to be known. . . . May we find the courage to come to the table not as our manicured selves but as the selves we are now, so our sense of self, our identity, and our belonging can be restored as intended by God."
--Esther Jadhav, Assistant Vice President of Intercultural Affairs, Asbury University
"As a wise and gifted scholar and practitioner, Dr. Hurlow embodies the meaning of the table throughout her life--not only in her education and work, but in her relationships and daily practices as well--making her uniquely qualified to write Transcendence at the Table. Julia beautifully weaves her personal experiences and stories into the larger narrative of the table. The theological foundations of Transcendence at the Table are meaningfully complemented by the philosophical and practical reflective questions included throughout the book. With care, Julia provides advice and challenges readers to engage in and embody the table in their own lives, inspiring readers to contemplate the sacred practice of welcoming others to their own tables."
--Kelly A. Yordy, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Taylor University
"With this rich work, Julia recovers the image, purpose, and hope of community--the table. She prepares readers with a plate of goodness and invites us to sit together, to commune together, to share stories together, all around the table. She provides a vibrant history of communion and table and gathering while sharing personal stories and intentional reflection. Crack this book open, gather a few friends, and find belonging--I cannot recommend this book more."
--Sarah Jobson, wife, mom, leadership coach, and mentor