Steven Muir and Frederick S. Tappenden. “Edible Media: The Confluence of Food and Learning in the Ancient Mediterranean.” Lexington Theological Quarterly 47.3–4 (2017): 123–147. 

Openly Available Online: www.lextheo.edu/2017/10/vol-xlvii-fall-and-winter-2017

Abstract (Excerpt from Introduction):

In this paper we examine how the metaphorical correlation of food with ideas contributes to the symbolic apparatus of communication and learning in the ancient Mediterranean. We note that the distinctive ideas are food metaphor is used to describe teaching and learning within a variety of ancient religious contexts. We also note that the metaphor often is used in reference to an actual and significant ritualized meal in those contexts. In light of these observations, we explore how an appreciation for the ideas are food metaphor yields a richer and more nuanced understanding of how those meals were practiced, conceptualized, and how they functioned within ancient communities. The paper is broken into two main sections. In part one we explore theoretical contexts drawn from cognitive linguistics and anthropology to make sense of how food and learning correlate with one another. In part two we turn our attention to a selection of concrete examples, focusing specifically on the function of a single, ubiquitous, and basic foodstuff—bread—within a number of ancient texts. Envisioned within the theoretical framework outlined in part one, we highlight some of the diverse ways that antique communities understood bread as a media dynamic.

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Edible Media