Special Issue "Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective "

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Professor Benjamin E. Zeller

Associate Professor and Chair of Religion, Lake Forest College, 555 North Sheridan Road Lake Forest, Illinois 60045, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Religion and Food; Religion in North America; New Religious Movements

Special Issue Information

The past decade has seen the expansion of research projects, presentations, and publications on topics related to religion and food. This journal issue intends to bring together a diverse set of topics within the field, spanning multiple spatial and cultural locations. We solicit articles that consider either historic and contemporary case studies, thematic approaches to religion and food, and critical theoretically-oriented approaches. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the study of religion and food, we welcome research projects employing the full range of methodologies appropriate to religious studies and food studies. Authors should be acquainted with and engage existing research and publications in the field.

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached to this email the call for papers for a special issue of the journal Religions, on the topic of religion and food. Religions is a peer reviewed open access journal, meaning publications appearing in the journal go through the normal pre-publication process, but are available online free of charge upon publication. Lest one might by concerned that this is some sort of predatory setup, the journal is edited by well-regarded church historian Peter Kaufman and many of our colleagues have published in it. As an example of the sort of work they publish, you can see a past special issue on the theme of religion and violence, edited by John Esposito, here: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions/special_issues/ ReligionViolence. Note that for invited contributors, there is no open access publication fee.

I have agreed to serve as guest editor for this special issue. I have identified you as a colleague working in this field, either because I know you or your work directly, or through citations of your research. If you are working on a project that is ready for publication, please consider submitting.

Prof. Dr. Benjamin E. Zeller
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Jewels Set in Stone: Hindu Temple Recipes in Medieval Cōḻa Epigraphy
Religions 2018, 9(9), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090270
Received: 4 August 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
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Abstract
Scholarship abounds on contemporary Hindu food offerings, yet there is scant literature treating the history of food in Hinduism beyond topics of food restrictions, purity, and food as medicine. A virtually unexplored archive is Hindu temple epigraphy from the time that was perhaps
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Scholarship abounds on contemporary Hindu food offerings, yet there is scant literature treating the history of food in Hinduism beyond topics of food restrictions, purity, and food as medicine. A virtually unexplored archive is Hindu temple epigraphy from the time that was perhaps the theological height of embodied temple ritual practices, i.e., the Cōḻa period (ninth-thirteenth centuries CE). The vast archive of South Indian temple inscriptions allows a surprising glimpse into lived Hinduism as it was enacted daily, monthly, and annually through food offerings cooked in temple kitchens and served to gods residing in those temples. Through analyzing thousands of Tamiḻ inscriptions from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries CE, I have gleaned information concerning two distinct material cultural facets. (1) The practice of writing these rare but remarkable recipes which themselves are culinary textual artifacts has allowed us to access (2) Hindu food offerings of the past, also complex, sensory historical artifacts. In exploring these medieval religious recipes for the first time, I aim to show: the importance that food preparation held for temple devotees, the theological reality of feeding the actual bodies of the gods held in these temples, and the originality of the Cōḻa inscriptional corpus in bringing about a novel culinary writing practice that would be adopted more extensively in the Vijayanagara period (fourteenth-seventeenth centuries CE). This study, a radical new attempt at using historical sources inscribed in stone, sheds new light on medieval Hindu devotees’ priorities of serving and feeding god. The examination of this under-explored archive can help us move our academic analysis of Hindu food offerings beyond the hitherto utilized lenses of economics, sociology, and anthropology. Further, it contributes to our understanding of medieval temple worship, early culinary studies, and the history of food in India. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective )
Open AccessArticle Orthodox Fasting in a Postsecular Society: The Case of Contemporary Russia
Religions 2018, 9(9), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090267
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
The article deals with the revival of fasting in Russia after a long period of its nearly full neglect. On the basis of electronic sources, such as web forums, question-and-answer services, streaming video channels, and other publications the author shows how the clergy
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The article deals with the revival of fasting in Russia after a long period of its nearly full neglect. On the basis of electronic sources, such as web forums, question-and-answer services, streaming video channels, and other publications the author shows how the clergy and the laity together discuss, collectively test and evaluate diverse fasting practices. The discourse on fasting practices in Russia is polyphonic and highly personalized; even the clergy has no single authoritative position. It remains unclear, who should be responsible for fasting mitigation in case of illness, pregnancy, or other circumstances; people are exposed to many different opinions, what results in confusion and anxiety. The article shows that contemporary believers—including the clergy—are not ready to follow tradition blindly. The discussants are roughly divided into two groups: those supporting traditional rules (fasting from animal products), and those inventing their own practices (fasting from sweets, or switching to cheaper foods). Both groups are interested in rational, mundane arguments in support of their choice: the traditionalists emphasize that fasting from meat is “healthy”, or that Lenten food is “tastier”; their opponents point out that fish and seafood are more expensive than dairy products and poultry; therefore, no money can be saved for the destitute. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective )
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Global Influence of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Diet
Religions 2018, 9(9), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9090251
Received: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
The emphasis on health ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) movement led to the development of sanitariums in mid-nineteenth century America. These facilities, the most notable being in Battle Creek, Michigan, initiated the development of vegetarian foods, such as breakfast cereals and analogue
[...] Read more.
The emphasis on health ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) movement led to the development of sanitariums in mid-nineteenth century America. These facilities, the most notable being in Battle Creek, Michigan, initiated the development of vegetarian foods, such as breakfast cereals and analogue meats. The SDA Church still operates a handful of food production facilities around the world. The first Battle Creek Sanitarium dietitian was co-founder of the American Dietetics Association which ultimately advocated a vegetarian diet. The SDA Church established hundreds of hospitals, colleges, and secondary schools and tens of thousands of churches around the world, all promoting a vegetarian diet. As part of the ‘health message,’ diet continues to be an important aspect of the church’s evangelistic efforts. In addition to promoting a vegetarian diet and abstinence from alcohol, the SDA church has also invested resources in demonstrating the health benefits of these practices through research. Much of that research has been conducted at Loma Linda University in southern California, where there have been three prospective cohort studies conducted over 50 years. The present study, Adventist Health Study-2, enrolled 96,194 Adventists throughout North America in 2003–2004 with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Adventist Health Studies have demonstrated that a vegetarian diet is associated with longer life and better health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Food in Global and Historical Perspective )
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