The Holy Kitchens film series is an attempt to tie together the meaning of food in religion with the real world experience of sharing food in a spiritual context.
Sharing food is as old as time itself and an inseparable part of the human experience. When we share food in a spiritual setting we imbue it with meaning that draws us closer to our creator and closer to each other. A simple dish of lentils becomes much more than a simple bowl of food. It becomes spiritual sustenance that elevates our consciousness.
Our aim is to make people aware of this commonality of the world’s religious traditions and to illuminate the differences in a way that will engender mutual tolerance and respect. Taken together, these films are our offering to the dialog that is meant to create more peace and harmony in the world.
Beginning with The True Business, our first film on the subject of the Langars of the Sikh religion, we have visited sacred places and spoken with religious leaders, philosophers and average people to learn about the simple values expressed in the various traditions. We have taken our place seated on the floor and around tables and shared bread with people of different faiths as they talk about the meaning of their rituals and their personal feelings.
These values include the expression of equality, of communal interdependence and obligation, of mutual trust, generosity of spirit, the divine nature of the gift of having enough food to eat and the sharing of life’s burdens.
Each of the world’s traditions has something to teach us about the nature of the human experience and each of these films allows us a small window into a world we may not know much about. These films will be incorporated into the syllabus at the Harvard Divinity School as a new way of approaching the universal religious experience which will supplement the current approaches.
The films will be made available free of charge to educational institutions that wish to broaden the horizons of their students.
Beginning with the Harvard Divinity School, we hope to stimulate more thought and dialog about this moving and inspiring subject.
At any given time somewhere on Earth, people are gathering to share food in the name of God. This is spiritual sustenance, meant to bring us closer together and closer to God. It brings the community together into a sense of shared identity and purpose. This is the story of The Holy Kitchens.
From the Introduction