My name is Kendall Vanderslice – yes, before you ask, that is my true name. It’s just by chance (or the humor of God) that I ended up in a field so fitting.
I’m a baker and writer, whose best thinking occurs as I work dough between my hands; I scribble down thoughts on pieces of parchment dusted in flour, until I can parse them out later before my keyboard.
I studied anthropology at Wheaton College in Illinois, where I began engaging questions of food and faith. Interested in commensality—or, the social dynamics of eating together—I completed a Master’s in Gastronomy (a fancy word for food studies) from Boston University. While at BU, I completed a thesis project studying dinner churches. Soon after, I began working as the head baker at Simple Church. With the help of Eerdman's Press, I've turned that thesis into a book, exploring the growth of dinner churches and an embodied theology of eating. We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God will be released May 2019.
Aiming to further ground the theology side of my food and faith studies, I'm now working on a Master's of Theological Studies at Duke Divinity School.
Because my faith hinges on belief in a God who became flesh, I strive to articulate my studies of the Bread of Life in ways that are embodied and accessible too.
I write about tension, about existing at the intersection of many different communities.
The tension of living in the already but not yet, of being generously orthodox. Of fasting and feasting, chasing hope and joy within despair. Of following a God that is both three and one. The tension of being a part of a faith that makes itself known through the tactile, the taste of bread. And questioning what this means for Eucharistic living.
Though my faith has developed through the influence of many different denominations, I’ve found a home in Anglicanism. I find great safety and risk and beauty in a tradition that holds fast to the mystery of faith. Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. You’ll find evidence of my love for the interplay of the catholic, charismatic, and evangelical littered throughout my writing – I hope you’ll come to find these creeds and traditions dynamic and captivating too.
Eating points us towards continual communion with one another, with our bodies, with all of creation, and ultimately with God. From recipes and book reviews, to essays on the life of faith, I ask you to join me as I explore the many facets of food, delighting in a foretaste of God's heavenly feast.