Food and Faith in Christian Culture
Ken Albala, Trudy Eden
Columbia University Press, Dec 27, 2011 - Cooking - 272 pages
Without a uniform dietary code, Christians around the world used food in strikingly different ways, developing widely divergent practices that spread, nurtured, and strengthened their religious beliefs and communities. These never-before published essays map the intersection of food and faith over the past five centuries, charting the complex relationship between religious eating habits and politics, social structure and culture.
Theoretically rich and full of engaging portraits, essays consider the rise of food buying and consumerism in the fourteenth century, the Reformation ideology of fasting and its resulting sanctions against sumptuous eating, the gender and racial politics of sacramental food production in colonial America, and the struggle to define “enlightened” Lenten dietary restrictions in early modern France. Essays on the nineteenth century explore the religious implications of wheat growing and breadmaking among New Zealand’s Maori population and the revival of the Agape meal, or love feast, among American brethren in Christ Church. Twentieth-century topics include the metaphysical significance of vegetarianism, the role of diet in Greek Orthodoxy, American Christian weight loss programs, and the practice of silent eating rituals among English Benedictine monks. Two essays introduce the volume, with one explaining the important themes tying all the essays together, and the other surveying food’s part in developing and disseminating the teachings of Christianity and its tangible embodiment of the experience of faith.
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Albala Andry animal argued banquets believed Benedict Benzoni blood bread and wine Brethren in Christ Catholic celebrations Charles Fillmore Christian diet Christian identity Christian weight loss church commensality congregants consumed consumption cooked Culinary Culture dietary digestion early modern eaten eating English Benedictine Evangelical Visitor example farms fat body feet washing Fillmore fish flesh Florence flour Fort Coligny France French fruits Galenic gluttony God’s Greek habits Hallelujah Diet halvas History Holy human Ibid important indigenous Americans indigenous bread individual Lent Lery living love feast luxury maize Maori meat medieval Messiah College missionaries monastery monastery’s monastic monks Musumeci native nonfasting olive oil one’s period physical practice Protestant purchased refectory Reformation religion religious Renaissance restrictions ritual Rule sacrament Saint salvation secular Showalter sixteenth century social soul Spanish spiritual sumptuary laws sumptuary legislation tapu taste tion traditional urban Vallombrosan vegetables Vegetarian Weekly Unity wheat women Zealand