Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol 46, No 2 (2017)

Bread Beyond Borders: Food as a Lens Into Tweed's Theory of Religion

Rachel Diane Brown

Abstract


In this article I rely on Tweed’s theory of religion as found in Crossing and Dwelling (2006) to inform my exploration of how transnational identities are negotiated through food. I show how food is an ideal lens through which to see Tweed’s theory at work on the ground, in the lives, and bodies, of transnational migrants. Focussing on the last five words of Tweed’s definition of religion, namely that religions “make homes and cross boundaries,” I address how food plays the same role that Tweed posits for religion in the processes of home making and boundary crossing. Using examples from my ethnographic fieldwork in Paris, France and Montréal, Canada I show how, for my informants, food (in place of religion in Tweed’s theory) designates “where they are from,” identifies “who they are with” and prescribes “how they move across” the various borders, both physical and psychological in their lives.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsor.32260

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