Food for the body and soul: Veganism, righteous male bodies, and culinary redemption in the Kingdom of Yah

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article grapples with the unlikely combination of veganism, righteous black bodies, and servitude as expressed in the “divine holistic culture” of the African Hebrew Israelite Community (AHIC). Based on our ethnography of how the Community re-scripts strong, virile black male bodies from rough brutes to responsible and righteous patriarchs, we show how the Hebrew Israelites’ vegan diet undergirds their Biblically based culture and fuels their salvation project. We propose the term “culinary redemption” to encapsulate the dramatic shift made by the AHIC from a theology based on salvation in the afterlife to a restorative cosmology in the here and now, and suggest that the food and foodways of other subaltern groups also provide powerful material for initiating social justice movements and religious change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-203
Number of pages23
JournalEthnography
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • African–Americans
  • Black Hebrews
  • Israel
  • culinary redemption
  • food and religion
  • masculinity
  • servitude
  • veganism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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