Gluttons for Regimen

R. Marie Griffith

in Born Again Bodies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780520217539
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938113 | DOI:
Gluttons for Regimen

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This chapter treats three sets of devotional practices whose modern enactment both reflected and generated broad cultural variations in the meaning of human embodiment. One of the most enduring and elastic devotional practices aiming at bodily discipline was food abstinence or the discipline of fasting. The discipline of fast became important in Christian communal practice during the early fourth century ce, as it was variously used as a method of baptismal preparation, a means of purification, a sign of grief, a work of charity, or an expression of penitence and the desire for God's mercy. The second set of disciplinary practices in Christian history with lasting durability, albeit shifting form, pertains to sexual restraint. The third and final set of practices addressed in the chapter centers on body parts—the face and skull, in particular—as external windows upon the inner soul.

Keywords: regimen; fasting; durability; soul

Chapter.  20207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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