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eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies






This article examines the concept of "Christian" eating that can be found in a variety of texts from the 13th and 14th centuries. “Christian” eating can be defined as consumption that follows the precepts of the Christian calendar and also the recommendations of the Church. As both fasting and feasting are integral elements of the medieval calendar, this article looks at the depiction of food, its consumption, and its role in religious ritual in texts as varied as the Milagros de Nuestra Señora, the Vidas of Santa Maria Egipciaca and Santa Marta, and the more doctrinally liberal Libro de buen amor. By analyzing not only the penitential qualities of each of the foods prescribed but also the violence done toward the body by the prescribed diets and by the punishment for not following these diets, this essay shows how these diets work toward a specific mythology of penitence related as much to ascetic tendencies as to medieval gastronomy


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Original Publication Citation

Maas, M. (2013). Food for the soul: Feasting and fasting in the spanish middle ages. eHumanista: Journal of Iberian Studies, 25, 65-74.