Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 38, No 1-2 (2019)

A Loaf for Learning: Teaching the Study of Religion with Food

Sarah J. King
Issued Date: 14 May 2019


Cooking and eating in the Religious Studies classroom is a challenging and valuable pedagogical practice which turns upside down students' individualist ideas of religion as belief inside people's heads, drawing them out into the complexity of lived religion, and in so doing breaks open the modernist study of religion itself. Teaching with food upsets gendered stereotypes about whose religion counts, and it brings students into direct confrontation with the boundaries, borders, taboos and pleasures that are at the heart of religions and the religious. Cooking and eating with students reminds them that religion is not actually a category separate from the other aspects of human life and culture; it's connected! With food, the classroom becomes a different place, where students move beyond religion as intellectual interiority into the complexity of everyday religion as lived.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.38376


Brown, Edward Espe. 2009 [1970]. The Tassajara Bread Book. Boston: Shambhala.

Desjardins, Michel. 2015. “Imagining Jesus, with Food.” Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 26: 47–63.

Harvey, Graham. 2015. “Respectfully Eating or Not Eating: Putting Food at the Centre of Religious Studies.” Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis 26: 32–46.

Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin.


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