Thomas Aquinas once said that civilization was constituted on conversation.
Down through history, thought leaders have used the meal table and conversation to advance ideas and discuss the weighty issues of the day. Examples include Ben Franklin and the Junto society in Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson and the Governor's Palace group in colonial Williamsburg, William Wilberforce and the Clapham Circle, and John Newton and the Eclectic society at the Castle-and-Falcon Pub. Of course, we dare not forget the Inklings. This group, which included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, used to meet at the Eagle and Child Pub on Tuesday nights for food, drink and conversation.
In this age of sound bites, commercialism and hourly Britney Spears updates, our culture is starved for meaningful conversation.
A small group of Christians have sought to recapture the notion of "conversational mealing." The concept is simple. Create an event that encourages critical thinking, conversation and interaction. Invite an eclectic group to gather around a hosted table for a structured discussion about the ideas of the day. Build community, practice hospitality and advance the cultural conversation about truth and why it matters.