In Judaism, food is viewed as a gift from God, so a religious Jew should give thanks, a blessing, before meals. However, not all foods are suitable for consumption from a Jewish perspective. The consumption of certain animals and plants is forbidden, there are rules about fasting and festive times, about the mixing of food, and about the types of preparation permitted. But dietary rules don’t exist in Judaism only, they can be found everywhere. What explanations, theological or otherwise, are there for the existence of dietary laws in Judaism and other religions? And is kosher food actually healthier than non-kosher food?
David Kraemer is a professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the author of Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages (Routledge, 2007) as well as A History of the Talmud (Cambridge, 2019). He is a well-established authority on kashrut laws and in his publications he has described their increasingly strict observance.
Kikuko Kashiwagi-Wetzel is a professor of German Literature and Culture at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan. She is the co-editor of Theorie des Essens (Theory of Food, Suhrkamp, 2017). Her research interests include relationships between literary texts, social history, and cultural phenomena, with a focus on alimentary habits.
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Dialogical Lecture Series: Kosher to Go – Perspectives on Religious Food Regulations (5)
Kosher to Go – Perspectives on Religious Food Regulations
In the dialogical lecture series, Jewish dietary laws are considered in relation to the dietary rules of other world religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam) and interpreted using perspectives from anthropology, ethnology, and the sociology of food. In this way, the origins and functions of dietary rules are examined up to the present day.
The Kitchen as a Substitute Sanctuary? Modern Debates Around Eating
With Kathrin Burger (science journalist and author) and Jonathan Schorsch (University of Potsdam)
25 Nov 2021
Do you eat Insects? – Forbidden Animals In Judaism and Hinduism
With Dr. Syed (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich) and Dr. Mattern (University of Tübingen), in German
30 Sep 2021
Between Sanction and Sanctification – Alcohol in Judaism and Christianity
With Jordan D. Rosenblum (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and David Grumett (University of Edinburgh), in German
22 Jun 2021
Kosher and Halal – Animal Slaughter in Judaism and Islam
With Aaron S. Gross (University of San Diego) and Serdar Kurnaz (Humboldt University of Berlin), in German
19 May 2021
Holy Food and Drink – Why Do Dietary Rules Exist?
With Prof. Kikuko Kashiwagi-Wetzel (Kansai University von Osaka) and Prof. David Kraemer (Jewish Theological Seminary of America), in English and German
22 Apr 2021