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Ascetic Eucharists : Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals - Andrew McGowan

Ascetic Eucharists

Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals

Hardcover Published: 1st February 1999
ISBN: 9780198269724
Number Of Pages: 328

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The early Eucharist has usually been seen as sacramental eating of token bread and wine in careful or even slavish imitation of Jesus and his earliest disciples. In fact the evidence suggests great diversity in its conduct, including the use of foods, in the first few hundred years. Eucharistic meals involving cheese, milk, salt, oil, and vegetables are attested, and some have argued that even fish was used. The most significant exception to using bread and wine, however, was a `bread-and-water' Christian meal, an ancient ascetic form of the Eucharist. This tradition also involved rejection of meat from general diet, and reflected the concern of dissident communities to avoid the cuisine - meat and wine - characteristic of pagan sacrifice. This study describes and discusses these practices fully for the first time, and provides important new insights into the liturgical and social history of early Christianity.

Industry Reviews

`This book is a model for research into the meanings of food in general and of ritual food in particular.' Ecclesiastical History, vol. 52/4 `McGowan uncovers a historical and theological hornets' nest in this book which is worth looking into closely. It is an engaging, thought-provoking and enlightening read.' Stephen. W. Need, Reviews in Religion and Theology `This is a colourful and vibrant book which will alert readers to a lost chapter in early Christianity. The author is familiar with a wide variety of ancient and modern literature relating to his subject and is careful and balanced in weighing the relevant evidence.' Stephen W. Need, Reviews in Religion and Theology `Anyone interested in the eucharist in early Christianity should read this book ... Liturgists, church historians, New Testament scholars, students, ministers, teachers and Christian theologians generally, should consult this work which, though scholarly, is written in a lively and accessible style.' Stephen W. Need, Reviews in Religion and Theology `this significant study by a distinguished Australian Anglian patristics scholar.' Dr K Stephenson, Church Times, 28th July 2000. `McGowans detailed study is important for its emphasis on the diversity of early Christian practice and tis insistence on examining Christian ritual within the context of a larger system of cultural meanings.' Michael Philip Pen, Church History, Studies in Christianity and Culture, Vol.69, No.2. `Ascetic Euchartists provides a useful addition to the study of rituals role in early Christianity.' Michael Philip Pen, Church History, Studies in Christianity and Culture, Vol.69, No.2. `This study... is a fascinating contribution to the study of eucharistic developments. The book... is a useful catalogue of a wide range of early Christian and collateral material... this resource for taking a new and more differentiated look at early eucharistic development makes an important contribution.' Jeffrey Gros, Worship, May 2000

Prefacep. vii
Abbreviationsp. xi
Liturgy, Meal, and Societyp. 1
Ordering Food in Graeco-Roman Antiquityp. 33
Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Mealsp. 89
Bread and Water in Early Asian and Syrian Christianityp. 143
Bread and Water in Radical Pseudepigraphap. 175
Orthodox Use of Bread and Waterp. 199
Bread and Water and the New Testamentp. 218
To Gather the Fragmentsp. 251
Conclusionp. 276
Select Bibliographyp. 279
Index Locorump. 295
Subject Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198269724
ISBN-10: 0198269722
Series: Early Christian Studies
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 1st February 1999
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 2.24
Weight (kg): 0.48