Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Gina Hens-Piazza


How do people access food? Food access raises the question of access to fertile land since it is the primary resource for food production. In both developing and developed nations, past and present, food access depends on who holds political and economic power. In this thesis, I read Matt 14:13-21 in the Roman first-century context, where food shortage was common. and argue that the food shortage was not due only to droughts or bad harvests but also to political and economic decisions by the Roman Empire. Matthew's account of feeding five thousand (Matt 14:13-21) can be read as a counternarrative in a socio-economic context dominated by the Roman Empire, where food access was difficult for non-elites. Reading Matt 14:13-21 with a postcolonial lens offers a foundation for addressing the problems of food access in our world. This study shows that the Biblical text can have importance and even application for a concern in our own world about a real need, in this case, food access.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 13, 2025