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Religions 2018, 9(2), 56; doi:10.3390/rel9020056

Fast, Feast and Feminism: Teaching Food and Gender in Italian Religious Women’s Writings

French & Italian, University of California, 507 Sproul Hall, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2018 / Published: 10 February 2018
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In the wake of Caroline Walker Bynum’s essential studies on the crucial role food played in the lives of medieval religious women, significant attention has been given to the connection between premodern women’s spiritual practices and eating practices. However, the relationship between religious women and food is not limited to body manipulation, inedia or eucharistic frenzy. Indeed, recent critical work has provided accessible translations and critical apparatus necessary for an exploration of food and women’s religiosity that builds on Bynum’s rich foundation and examines the many ways in which women expressed themselves through food, both material and metaphoric. This approach not only allows students to engage with women’s writing through the familiarity and universality of food, but moreover reminds them of the real, living, breathing women behind the texts, thus opening the door to a feminist rereading of texts—not as proto-feminist themselves, but rather in the re-valuing of the substantial contributions of their female authors, who had subtle social awareness, public professional pursuits, and complex and varied relationships with God. View Full-Text
Keywords: convents; food; early modern; gender; Italian; medicine; medieval; pharmacy; women convents; food; early modern; gender; Italian; medicine; medieval; pharmacy; women
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Callegari, D. Fast, Feast and Feminism: Teaching Food and Gender in Italian Religious Women’s Writings. Religions 2018, 9, 56.

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