The centrality of meals in Christianity can be traced to the Passover Seder, celebrated to commemorate the events recounted in Exodus. In the New Testament, Jesus arrives in Jerusalem for the week-long Passover festival; the Last Supper was a Passover Seder; and, ultimately, that meal became the basis for the Communion Sacrament. Thus, food is demonstrably central to Christian narrative and 2000 years of Christian ritual and liturgy.
From these roots, Christianity and food have interacted in a variety of ways that touch upon socio-political issues, from the difference in diet between the Jewish underclass in Palestine and their Roman occupiers, early Christian agape meals, agricultural production through history, and contemporary questions regarding vegetarianism and the ethics of eating meat. The essays in this volume explore these and a variety of related issues.
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