Baylor ethics professor to speak Oct. 3 on the roles of food in human life

Baylor ethics professor to speak Oct. 3 on the roles of food in human life

“Hungry Souls: From Disordered Eating to Sacramental Feasting” is the title of an upcoming talk at the University of St. Thomas by Dr. Thomas Hibbs, the distinguished professor of ethics and culture, and dean of the Honors College, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Hibbs will speak at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the university’s St. Paul campus. The talk, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Department of Catholic Studies. For more information call the department at (651) 962-5700.

Dr. Thomas Hibbs

From the food fight in "Animal House,” to the celebration of aesthetic cannibalism in the Oscar-winning “Silence of the Lambs,” to the documentation of American gluttony in “Super-Size Me,” to the gross-out eating contests in “Fear Factor,” American popular culture is preoccupied with disordered eating and eating disorders.

In his talk, Hibbs will discuss the proper appreciation of the role of food in human life, why these things matter, and why we should take food and eating as serious matters for reflection.

Through an analysis of contemporary American film, reflections on the human body and the virtue of temperance, and the film “Babette’s Feast,” Hibbs will discuss how the enjoyment of food and drink provides more than just nourishment for the body.

The feast, he says, signifies a sacramental union of matter and spirit, human and divine. It is a love affair, he maintains, that combines spiritual and bodily appetites.

Hibbs speaks and writes regularly on an array of topics in popular culture, he reviews books for The Weekly Standard, and writes about film and culture for National Review Online. He has written two scholarly books on Aquinas, has a book forthcoming on Philosophy and Film Noir and plans to write a book on the thought of Pascal.

Called upon regularly to comment on film and popular culture, he has been interviewed more than 100 times on national and regional public radio programs.

Hibbs holds degrees from the University of Dallas and University of Notre Dame. He also taught at Boston College for 13 years, where he was professor and department chair in philosophy.