PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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Religion and Food Group

Statement of Purpose: 

This Group provides an opportunity for scholars to engage in the intersection of religion and food, foodways, and food ethics. We are interested in examining these topics across broad geographical areas, religious traditions, and historical eras. We encourage critical reflection regarding:

The relationships of religious commitments to food (consumption, production, and invention)

Diet and sustainability

Issues of food (in)justice, which may include food availability or insecurity, commitment to wellness, access to healthy foods, etc.

Theological, spiritual, and religious interrelationships as expressed in food commitments or confluence

The cross-cultural applicability of the categories of “religion” and “food” themselves
We seek to develop ongoing investigations into practices and beliefs related to food, drink, fasting, the production of food, the ethics of production and consumption, or on any aspect of religiously influenced foodways

Call for Papers: 

This Group provides an opportunity for scholars to engage in the intersection of religion and food, foodways, and food ethics. We are interested in examining these topics across broad geographical areas, religious traditions, and historical eras. We seek papers investigating practices and beliefs related to food, drink, fasting, the production of food, the ethics of production and consumption, or on any aspect of religiously influenced foodways.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• With respect to the 2015 emphasis on public spaces, we welcome submissions on food-related topics such as institutional food (prisons, schools, soup kitchens)
• With respect to our Atlanta location: religion and Coca-Cola, and possibly issues related to consumerism or industrial regulation
• Religiously inspired/targeted foods (e.g. “yogi tea”, “Ezekiel bread”)
• Religion and intoxicants (alcohol and other drugs)
• Religion and holidays (particularly Thanksgiving, given the AAR’s traditional timing)
• Religion and faux foods (e.g. turkey bacon, kosher shrimp, tofurkey)
• Issues of food shaming and religious contexts
• Religion, food and citizenship
• Intersections between New Religions and/or New Religiosities and food (for a possible co-sponsored session with the New Religious Movements Group).
• Esotericism and food (for a possible co-sponsored session with the Western Esotericism). Another case of a significant presence that has received little attention by scholars so far is the relationship between esotericism and food. Being often at the creative end of techniques for improving bodily health, rejuvenation, or even immortality, western esotericism has had a long interest in nutrition and in the preparation of elixirs and medicaments, but also in dietary requirements and regimens. Esoteric metaphors sometimes refer to processes of ingestion, digestion and excretion, and rituals of purification include indications about the preparation and consumption of food. Papers are welcome on any of these aspects.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee