Religion and Food Cookbook A portfolio Project

Religious Dishes from RELG 290: Religion and Food

Spring 2019

Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa

(Alphabetical by Dish)

What is Religion and Food?

This course is a “special topic seminar” offered by Religious Studies; special topics courses are offered on topics of current interest and/or recent scholarly developments. This particular course will help you explore the relationship of religion and food and develop your skills in ethical reasoning and application.

Through the term we will reflect on principles of well-being, social justice, environmental justice, and religious freedom in relationship to religion and food. Our central questions are: How do people use food to make sense of the world? Why do we fast, feast, and fight about food in the name of religion? This course will use food as an entry point to religious studies and ethical issues around food and food production. Through readings, in-class presentation, and hands-on experiences, we will investigate case studies from different cultures and historical periods. We will explore aspects of foodways such as cooking, farming, sacrifice, and display as they relate to belief and practices. This class will challenge you to move beyond easy notions of culture, religious authority, and identity and consider your own assumptions, ethics, and values.

The Assignment

Setting the Table

Choose and discuss the "religious" significance of your dish.

Nutrition Facts

Trace your dish either through time or through its production (that is, a student could research a dish through history to the modern day or trace the elements that make up the dish from the production line to the final cooking and serving). They will be asked to link these elements to principles of individual well-being, social justice, environmental justice, and religious freedom. That is, can the dish be produced with attention to these four elements?

Kitchen Time #1! Report on your preparation to prepare your dish

Kitchen Time #2: Make your dish-- record your experience with photos, video, and notes

Kitchen Time #3: Share your story with visuals.


What is the worst-case scenario for well-being, social justice, environmental justice, and religious freedom around this dish? How could it go wrong?

Just Dessert

Reflect on your relationship with the dish in question. That is, after having actually made the dish, what did it teach you about their relationship to food you ordinarily eat? If it was entirely new to you, what did you learn? If it is something you eat regularly, what did they learn about it making it this way? Finally, what does the dish’s religious significance have to do with it? How does religion play a role in the dish in every stage and in other foods you eat?

Works Cited


Created with images by Detmold - "antiquariat old cookbook cookbook" • Josh Applegate - "untitled image" • Brijesh Nirmal - "untitled image" • truthseeker08 - "sangha theravada monks in alms-round offering to" • lukasbieri - "müesli fruits breakfast" • Dose Juice - "DOSE Juice" • Brooke Lark - "Spring Greens" • Deniz Altindas - "untitled image" • Farsai Chaikulngamdee - "untitled image" • Brett_Hondow - "tums pills tablets" • jill111 - "blueberries dessert breakfast"

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