The Role of Food in Religion

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The Role of Food in Religion

We as a people eat every day, several times throughout the day because it is something we need to do in order to survive. What many people do not realize is that food has a hand in shaping who you are as individuals. The more obvious, like religion also has a great deal in shaping us as individuals and when you put the two together you will be surprised with the outcome. Food and religion have a play in community, tradition, and issues of purity and cleanliness. I will explain how Judaism, Muslims, and Protestants are all involved with shaping the community we live in and have a say so on what is to be eaten.

In my opinion, food has a large social role with Americans and everyday life beyond just eating. As Mary Douglas explains in her article Deciphering a Meal, we as a people eat differently with certain groups of people. For example, she explains going out for drinks is not as intimate as sitting and having dinner with a person. This type of socialism with food leads to community coming together within religion. Every religion seems to have a large focus on community, rather its to build it and make it stronger or if its just feeding the community your apart of. In the book Whitebread Protestants, it appears the church whole focus was on community. The church planned events to keep the community from doing things that were ungodly, this consisted of giant meals and parties that included meals as well. The church knows one thing that can draw a crowd( community) is free food, this was a way to help the community and gain more followers at the same time.

In the United States today tradition has died in many cultures. Its something that us as a people have really forgotten. This is what the book, Miriams Kitchen is all about, Ehrlich wanted to focus more on tradition in her home by following what Miriam did. Most traditions are based around food and rituals in every community. In the African American churches tradition is very...
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