Kenneth Koltun-Fromm, Robert and Constance MacCrate Professor of Social Responsibility and Professor of Religion
Decisions about how to cook and what to eat are not only about the nutritional demands of our physical bodies. They are also guided by who we take ourselves to be: our beliefs and habits, our individual and collective identities, and the people, places, and histories we seek to connect with. These are also central concerns of religious traditions, where food practices embody ethical, legal, theological, and normative claims about community, self, and right conduct. This course explores the role of food and eating in religion, with a particular focus on American religions. We will consider how religious food practices—including dietary laws, feast days, fasts, and other rituals and foodways—construct religious identities, social bodies, and ethical ideals. Course materials will include texts, visual images, and hands-on experiences of cooking and eating together.