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Raised on Christian MilkFood and the Formation of the Soul in Early Christianity$
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John David Penniman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300222760

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300222760.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.201) Conclusion
Source:
Raised on Christian Milk
Author(s):

John David Penniman

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300222760.003.0008

This Conclusion explores how the imperative “to eat well” has been an undercurrent, a connecting thread, linking disparate arguments about food and formation within the figures and texts explored. Gastronomy inevitably carries with it a set of social, physiological, and intellectual valences regarding the power of nourishment in human development. The simplicity of the phrase “eat well” obscures the complex of ideologies in which a community gathers and to which its individuals are held accountable. The phrase thus evokes a process of growth and development, at once essentially materialistic and profoundly symbolic. What else is gastronomy, then, but a kind of socializing curriculum, a system for incorporating ambient cultural values into one’s own person? A meal materializes the porous boundary between our individual bodies and the social body in which we participate. Drawing upon theorists such as Donna Haraway, Jacques Derrida, and Judith Butler, this conclusion considers whether the trope of milk and solid food might be wrested from its traditional and more restrictive use in regulating bodies and minds. Is it possible to imagine a new Pauline gastronomy that focuses not on power exerted but rather on the vulnerability shared between eater and feeder?

Keywords:   Milk, Nurturance, Donna Haraway, Judith Butler, Food, Surrogacy, Queer Theory, Early Christianity, Roman Empire

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