IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 617: Religious Communities and Food, II

Tuesday 5 July 2016, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Brno
Organiser:David Zbíral, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Moderator/Chair:David Zbíral, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Paper 617-aImpure Food - Impure Faith: The Heretic as a Polluted Body
(Language: English)
Daniela Müller, Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Daniela Müller, Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life, Rhetoric, Theology
Paper 617-bBernard of Clairvaux, Heresy, and the War over Food: An Analysis from a Foucauldian Perspective
(Language: English)
Stamatia Noutsou, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Stamatia Noutsou, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Index terms: Monasticism, Religious Life, Rhetoric, Theology
Paper 617-cUnholy Feast and Unholy Fast: Asceticism in the Representations of Alleged Anomic Sects of the 13th Century
(Language: English)
František Novotný, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
František Novotný, Department for the Study of Religions, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Index terms: Law, Monasticism, Rhetoric, Theology
Abstract

Since Caroline Walker Bynum’s Holy Feast and Holy Fast, food as a cultural symbol and identity marker has become almost a commonplace in historical scholarship. Nevertheless, there is still considerable space left for research into what was (and was not) eaten in different religious communities of medieval Europe, as well as for fresh interpretations of their meal practices and dietary restrictions, and of the symbolic meanings they assigned to food. Ancient Christian ascetic practices and symbols were being transmitted and reinterpreted throughout the Middle Ages; new kinds of self-disciplining and even self-harming behaviour emerged within the Christian ascetic tradition; the avoidance of certain types of food served to draw boundaries between an in-group and its out-groups; dining habits of peoples and religious communities from outside Europe were being described in missionary and/or travel accounts; attitudes towards food were used to denounce some communities as heretical; and rumours of illicit orgiastic feasts haunted the imagination of churchmen. This panel sets out to examine this exciting field, focusing on what was eaten in specific religious communities, what reasons members of these communities gave for their dining and fasting practices, and how food, dining habits, dietary restrictions, fasting, and feasting served as tools of reflection about the identity of a group.