From Feasting To Fasting, The Evolution Of A Sin

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Overview

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 Graeco-Roman world, the author then proceeds to analyse Christian attitudes towards food. Descriptions of food found in the Pauline Epistles, the Acts of the Apostles, Tertullian or Augustine are compared to contemporary Jewish or Graeco-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. Winner of the 1995 Routledge Ancient History Prize

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Grimm covers a huge time-span and an enormous number of texts and her work is sure to provoke vigorous debate ... Her observations are thought provoking.'Journal of Roman Studies

'This book gives a fascinating insight into the history of the development of fasting and asceticism in the ancient world.'European Eating Disorders Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415135955
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/27/2005
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 The Jewish Background 14
2 The Graeco-Roman Background 34
3 Food and Fasting in the Pauline Epistles 60
4 Food and Fasting in the Acts of the Apostles 74
5 Clement of Alexandria 90
6 Food and Fasting in the Works of Tertullian 114
7 Food and Fasting in Origen and Eusebius 140
8 Jerome and Ascetic Propaganda 157
9 Augustine and Ascetic Practice 180
Conclusion 191
Notes 198
Note on the sources 264
Bibliography 267
Index 278
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