Tater tots and God, beer and theology—although these things might not seem connected at first, a weekly event at Happy Dog includes them all. To find out more about the event, we asked Reverend Melanie Marsh Baum about what to expect from the Thursday night event.
Q: What is Theology on Tap?
A: Pub Theology, a concept based out of the Inkling tradition, first introduced by notable fantasy writers and men of faith C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, who would meet one another in the local pub near their posting at Oxford University and discuss all things literary, religious, spiritual, and other in a space that was inviting, informal, and open to all. It is an open and honest conversation about big questions. It’s a table at which all perspectives are welcome. The format is simple: beer, conversation, and God. Come bring your questions, bring a friend, and pull up a chair. Be ready to engage with people of varying religious traditions, philosophical perspectives and life experiences. You’ll be able to share your own wrestlings and thoughts while learning something new along the way.
Q: What’s the purpose of the event?
A: There is not much strife in this world that cannot be overcome if people sit down, share a meal and a drink together, and listen to one another’s stories. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and their fellows at Oxford understood this when they set out to form The Inklings, a loose gathering of writers, thinkers, and men of faith that began in meeting together regularly at The Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, England in the late 1930s.
Q: Where did the idea for the event come from?
A: I was just beginning my process of discerning a call to ministry, and was spending a weekend on retreat at a Seminary. Every Friday afternoon, several students and one Theology professor at the school would meet for what they called ‘Beer and Theology’. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the gathering that Friday afternoon was the space: A third-floor room filled with couches, and oversized cushions, where one entire wall was a window overlooking the wooded campus. A cooler of various beverages sat in the middle of the circle. As people entered, some sat on the floor, others settled in to couches or chairs, and the professor sat cross-legged on the floor, adult beverage in hand. I thought to myself, “If this is Seminary, sign me up!”
Event: Theology on Tap
Time: Thursdays 5–7 pm
Place: Happy Dog @ Euclid Tavern, 11625 Euclid Avenue