An Investigation of Lucan Meals with relevance to Food Justice in India

Simeon Paulraj, Gideon Sam (2020) An Investigation of Lucan Meals with relevance to Food Justice in India. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/ME1246PR

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This dissertation is concerned with interpreting the Lucan meal narrations to elucidate what Luke was saying about human needs, especially in relation to food, in order to bring that message to bear on the question of food justice in India. The issue of hunger in post-independent India, culminating in the National Food Security Act of 2013, has evoked the following questions: (a) Was Luke concerned about the destitute?; (b) If the Lucan Jesus’ “Good news to the πτωχοί” represents Luke’s concern for the destitute, how do the Lucan meal scenes serve his purpose in connecting faith and food in society in reaching across the margins and partnering with the destitute; and (c) How can Luke’s insights be articulated into a theology to address food insecurity in today’s India? The comparative models, theories and research of the social sciences (especially sociology and anthropology) have been deployed to investigate the socio-economic and religious context of the first-century Mediterranean world where the Lucan audience were located. The investigation conducted in Chapter Two and Three has concluded that the first-century Mediterranean world was an advanced agrarian society which was socially stratified and characterised by a distinctive set of values. With the help of a historical-exegetical and redactional approach to the Lucan meals enriched with social-scientific insights, Chapter Three has exposed the values, social structures and conventions of the Lucan audience and the dimensions of destitution present in Luke-Acts. Chapter Four employs social-scientific tools to assist in exegeting selected Lucan meal scenes and discovers radical reforms introduced by the Lucan Jesus at the table in terms of relationships and reciprocity in relation to food. In Chapter Five, these exegetical results have been deployed in the manner of Practical Theology to articulate a Lucan theology of hunger and hospitality. Chapter Six is occupied with an analysis of the question of food insecurity in India and suggestions for how the Church might apply the Lucan theology of hunger and hospitality to help remedy that problem. Finally, Chapter Seven is a brief conclusion. This thesis makes at least three significant contributions to academic scholarship. Firstly, the historical-exegetical and redactional approach enhanced with social-scientific perspectives, models and offers new insight into how Luke crafted Jesus’ meal scenes to confront and challenge the values, social structures and conventions of the Lucan audience. Thus, this research bridges a long-standing gap in Lucan scholarship on the text in its social milieu. Secondly, Lucan scholarship on table-fellowship has been enriched by the concentrated focus on the plight of the destitute. Thirdly, this dissertation has applied the methods of Practical Theology to generate a Lucan theology of hunger and hospitality that erects a bridge between the exegesis and the issue of food insecurity in today’s India in such a way as to foster ecclesial transformation and action to help to rectify the situation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food justice, India; Theology; Food insecurity; Gospel of Luke; Lucan theology of hunger; Lucan theology of hospitality
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 10:26
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2022 09:33

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