Peter-Ben Smit

Fellowship and Food in the Kingdom

Eschatological Meals and Scenes of Utopian Abundance in the New Testament

[Mahl und Nachfolge im Königreich. Untersuchungen zum eschatologischen Mahl und zu neutestamentlichen Utopien von Nahrung im Überfluß.]

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sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-149271-6
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Published in English.
Peter-Ben Smit studies the role meals and scenes of nutritional abundance play in the vision New Testament authors had of the upcoming reign of God. The texts in which these themes occur offer valuable windows on the thought world and theology of the authors and communities concerned.
Peter-Ben Smit undertakes the first encompassing study of New Testament eschatological meals and scenes of nutritional abundance. His study thus fills a large gap in current research. In terms of its main contributions and emphases, the study challenges the widespread assumption that the origin of the imagery of eschatological meal fellowship and nutritional abundance can be found in Isa 25:6–8 by showing how the images of meal fellowship and nutritional abundance played a significant role in the (utopian) thinking of the Ancient Near East as well as the Mediterranean world. Thus, the book helps to do away with widespread assumptions about these meals with its detailed studies of the individual texts. Furthermore, the typology of eschatological meals and scenes of nutritional abundance presented here will help to differentiate between different kinds of traditions and their various functions and emphases. Through the integration of the various texts in their socio-historical context, the author shows how these texts, particularly the eschatological meals, interact with contemporary »symposiastic ideology.« At the same time, the book's synchronic backbone facilitates a demonstration of how the various eschatological meals and scenes of nutritional abundance interact with other meal scenes in the NT books discussed, and this leads to a better understanding of what kind of literary and theological interests the four canonical Gospels and the Apocalypse of John have in their use of these traditions and of banqueting scenes and scenes of nutritional abundance in general.

Peter-Ben Smit Born 1979; MA in Theology at University of Amsterdam; MA in Biblical Studies at the Departement of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield; 2005 Ordination; 2005 Promotion to Dr. Theol.; Doctoral student at the General Theological Seminary, New York City; Assisting priest in the parish of St. Ann, Sayville, Long Island.


The following reviews are known:

In: Revue d'histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses — 90 (2010), S. 415–416 (Ch. Grappe)
In: Theologische Zeitschrift — 68 (2012), S. 172–175 (Jan Veenhof)
In: Biblische Zeitschrift — 55 (2011), S. 141–143 (Eva Ebel)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 52 (2008), S. 616
In: New Testament Abstracts — 52 (2008), S. 616
In: Studia Historiae Ecclessiasticae — 35 (2009), S. 249
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 134 (2009), S. 566–568 (Stefan Schreiber)