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Religion, Food, and Eating in North America (Arts & Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2014


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A welcome addition to the literature on food and religion. No other work compares with it. -- Ken Albala, coeditor of Food and Faith in Christian Culture Fresh and mature fare that nurtures not only our understanding of foodways but also of American religion and the wider study of religions. -- Charles Wallace, Willamette University From a Georgia farm to the salmon runs of the Pacific Northwest, from Sylvester Graham to hip vegans, Americans draw tight links between their food and their faith. These essays investigate a broad set of religious traditions, and the results are theoretically rich yet accessible to nonspecialists. The volume helps us think about what it means to be American, as well as what it means to be religious, and forces us to broaden our definition of religion, with implications for health, commerce, and the environment. -- Daniel Sack, author of Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture

About the Author

Benjamin E. Zeller is assistant professor of religion at Lake Forest College. He is the author of Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in Late Twentieth-Century America. Marie W. Dallam is assistant professor of religion and culture at the Joe C. and Carole Kerr McClendon Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Daddy Grace: A Celebrity Preacher and His House of Prayer. Reid L. Neilson is the managing director of the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is the author of Exhibiting Mormonism: The Latter-day Saints and the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, 1901-1924. Nora Lynne Rubel is associate professor of religion at the University of Rochester. She is the author of Doubting the Devout: The Ultra-Orthodox in the Jewish-American Imagination and the forthcoming Recipes for the Melting Pot: The Life of the Settlement Cookbook.

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
How religion in the USA influences eating. 19 Nov. 2014
By B. Wolinsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let’s begin by saying that every kid in the USA has learned the Thanksgiving story. Do they know that the Pilgrims came here because of religion? Maybe not, but they all know the menu they served, and they’ll all associate pumpkins, turkey, and cornbread with Thanksgiving.
It seems, according to this book, that religious people put more “soul” into the food. Jewish Shabbat lunches, Muslim Iftars, and traditional Christmas foods (each country has its own custom) all reflect this theory. In the USA, Protestants have always been at the forefront of the health crazes. If you need proof, look at the Kellog brothers, devout Seventh Day Adventists who ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium, and tried to invent new foods to replace the less healthy cooked breakfasts that Americans ate. There’s also the Hallelujah Acres, an evangelical ministry, that encourages raw food diets.
The chapter “Dreydel Salad” is not entirely accurate. Traditional Jewish foods in the USA are all Ashkenazi from Lithuania and Poland. KTAV, cited as the dominant supplier of Jewish cookbooks, stressed how Jewish people could impress the nation on how they could be the perfect American minority. It promoted typically dull American ingredients, like canned pineapple and coconut, typical 1950’s chintzy stuff. Non-European Jewish foods, like tagine, shish kebab, and couscous, I imagine would have led to stares, sniggers, and xenophobia if they’d been served in the Eisenhower-Kennedy era. Israeli foods would’ve gotten the same reaction, because until the 1970’s most Jewish Americans had never visited Israel. Typical Ashkenazi fare, like blintzes, kuggel, and latkes, were considered “traditional” until the 1980’s. Today a lot of Jews won’t eat kuggel.
More chapters follow, with the same ethnic-religious connection to food. The movie Annie Hall is an example, where the wasp versus Jew dinner scene highlights the cultural difference. By the 1950’s, Yom Kippur was no longer a fast day to non-religious Jews, but a feast day! Borscht Belt hotels celebrated the “high holidays” with huge dinners and comedians. Orthodox Jews would blanch at the idea of feasting and comedy on Yom Kippur, but the likely humorous anecdotes are missing from this book. Most of the material is from second hand sources. Beef was abundant in the USA in the early days, so there was plenty of opportunity for Jewish, Irish, and southern cuisines had the chance to bulk up.
this book may be enjoyed by any person from advanced high school students through ... 20 Dec. 2014
By Sarah R. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of essays is a buffet of scholarship on contemporary and ancient practices linking food and religion. With both scholarly intricacy and readability, this book may be enjoyed by any person from advanced high school students through senior citizens. Anyone interested in culture, religion, and food will find a fascinating and maybe even delicious bit of learning in this book.
Interesting but dry 23 Dec. 2014
By edfairfax - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned a lot of interesting things from this book. It's very academic, though, so not what you want if you are looking for spiritual insight.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The eBook version on iPad Kindle app is a hassle ... 9 Oct. 2014
By Rachel J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The eBook version on iPad Kindle app is a hassle to maneuver. If you need the book by the paperback version
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