From Feasting to Fasting: The Evolution of a Sin

Attitudes to Food in Late Antiquity


Publisher: Routledge


Language: English | Number of Pages: 294 | Format: eBook

Isbn-10: 0203436695 | Isbn-13: 9780203436691 | Publish date:  | Edition 1

Also available as: Hardcover

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Book Description
In this highly original study, Veronika Grimm discusses early Christian texts dealing with food, eating and fasting. Modern day eating disorders often equate food with sin and see fasting as an attempt to regain purity, an attitude which can also be observed in early Christian beliefs in the mortification of the flesh. Describing first the historical and social context of Judaism and the Greco-Roman world, the author then proceeds to analyse Christian attitudes towards food. Descriptions of foods found in the Pauline Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, Tertullian or Augustine are compared to contemporary Jewish or Greco-Roman pagan texts. Thus, a particular Christian mode of fasting is elaborated which influences us to the present day: ascetic fasting for the suppression of the sexual urges of the body.