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In today’s podcast we’re going to observe the role of food in Jesus’s parables and miracles, as well as in the ritual of the Eucharist. We’ll take a look at early Christian and monastic dietary prescriptions, we’ll examine practices regarding ritual fasting in Christianity, and we’ll examine the significance of purification through self-denial in practices such as Lent.
Images for this Episode:
Culinary Activities for this Episode:
• Fasting Exercise
This is an odd thing to try at home, but trying it can have very interesting results. If you fast for very long periods, you will feel lightheaded and may even hallucinate. This may very well be the source of some early ascetic’s visions. Even a short fast can be a challenge as well as a way to expand your sensory perception. In many respects, our taste buds, like all of our senses, are dulled by overstimulation. Think of this as a temporary deprivation chamber to reawaken your taste buds.
As a purely gastronomic exercise, go an entire 24 hours without any food or water. Prepare a food you normally eat for dinner, and consume it slowly and mindfully. Did you appreciate the taste more than you normally would? Does it taste different—perhaps more intense? Which particular flavors do you notice as standing out?
Chadwick, Western Asceticism.
Shaw, Burden of the Flesh.
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