Raised on Christian Milk: Food and the Formation of the Soul in Early Christianity (Synkrisis)

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A fascinating new study of the symbolic power of food and its role in forming kinship bonds and religious identity in early Christianity

Scholar of religion John Penniman considers the symbolic importance of food in the early Roman world in an engaging and original new study that demonstrates how “eating well” was a pervasive idea that served diverse theories of growth, education, and religious identity. Penniman places early Christian discussion of food in its moral, medical, legal, and social contexts, revealing how nourishment, especially breast milk, was invested with the power to transfer characteristics, improve intellect, and strengthen kinship bonds.

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