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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Food and Religion (3 cr)
Joelle Bahloul
ANTH-E 400 Undergraduate Seminar #30496
MW 4-5:15

Meets with ANTH-E 600

The relation between food and religion is a universal pattern in human culture. All religions include table and food rituals that are commanded by fundamental beliefs on the origins of the community of believers, and on divine creation. Around the table and in their kitchens, believers are reminded on a daily basis of the fundamentals of their faith. Eating is believing, and is also a spiritual experience in addition to being a necessary physiological activity. In addition, all religions include systems of food prescription and prohibition. This course will review the variety of anthropological and ethnographic accounts of the tandem food/religion in diverse cultural contexts. Students will be able to conduct a short ethnographic research on the course’s theme in a religious community of their choice. 

Requirements: Four reading annotations (40%), one research paper (45%), and in class presentations (15%)

Douglas, Mary, Purity and Danger, Routledge 2002
Fischer, Johan, The Halal Frontier: Muslim Consumers in a Globalized Market, Palgrave 2011
Fishkoff, S., Kosher Nation, Schocken, 2010
Freidenreich, D., Foreigners and Their Food: constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic law, Univ. of California Press, 2011
Khare, R., The Eternal Food: Gastronomic Ideas and Experiences of Hindus and Buddhists, SUNY Press, 1992
Nhá̂t Hạnh, Thích, Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, Harper,
Zeller B.,  Dallam M., Religion, Food, and Eating in North America, Columbia U. Press 2014