This week, The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology is hosting a unique event exploring the intersections of wine, theology, creation, and community. “A Theological Wine Tasting” is 6:00-9:15 pm this Saturday, May 14, featuring stories, reflections, and conversations with Dr. Gisela Kreglinger, author of The Spirituality of Wine.

Dr. Kreglinger was raised on a family-owned winery in Franconia, Germany, where her family has been crafting wine for generations. She also holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from the University of St. Andrews, where she now works as a research associate in the Institute for Theology, Imagination & the Arts. And she has found that these two pursuits—winemaking and theology—are not nearly as separate as they might appear.

“Gisela and I have been friends for many years. We did our Ph.D.’s together at the University of St. Andrews,” says Dr. Chelle Stearns, Associate Professor of Theology at The Seattle School. “Our community in Scotland was very close, with many nights of wine and theological banter. We learned to rejoice in our breakthroughs and to comfort one another in our struggles. Because of this long history, I can attest that her thoughts on wine, joy, and feasting come from a deeply felt place in her own story. She truly believes—and lives out—that the Christian life requires a fully embodied authenticity. This means that a theology of joy and feasting is not an escape from life or pain, but, instead, a means by which we find ourselves more deeply connected to our communities. Along the way, we are more in touch with our senses and more in touch with our emotional selves, rather than isolated and cut off from our desires and deepest needs. If every church embraced joy, wine, creation care, the enlivening of the senses, sorrow, grief, love, community, and laughter like Gisela, a lot more of us would still be at church.”

In a frenzied time and culture in which eating and drinking often feel disconnected from the earth and from our communities, Dr. Kreglinger utilizes a spirituality of wine to explore a holistic vision of the Christian life, one that leads to a more richly embodied and more fully communal perspective. This conversation deeply impacts what we believe about God, the way we live with the earth, how we see ourselves, and how we love one another—to say it another way, this is a conversation at the heart of theology, psychology, and culture.

This week’s event is an opportunity for academics, pastors, practitioners, and others to taste wine, talk theology, and explore how a spirituality of wine can radically transform the way you envision the Christian life and the world around you.

“I’ve seen four different incarnations of how Gisela invites communities to reflect on the spirituality of wine,” says Kj Swanson (Master of Divinity, 2010). “I think for The Seattle School community in particular, the ways in which her work intersects and informs issues of embodiment, mindfulness, sabbath, gratitude, feasting, and sustainability will be of value across the disciplines. As a theologian, Gisela is incredibly astute, as a servant of hospitality, she is graciously gifted, and as part of a legacy of vintners, she brings the choicest wines and choicest stories.”

You can learn more and register for the event here. In the meantime, check out this interview, in which Dr. Kreglinger discusses her new book and the themes we’ll be exploring together on Saturday. We think you’ll quickly see why we’re so excited to welcome her to The Seattle School.