COOL CLASSES: “Food and Religion”

This course explores the role of food in religious beliefs and practices, including the role of food in religious rituals, the connection between religious foodways and religious identities, and the ethics of food production and consumption.

Class name: “Food and Religion”

Taught by: Professor of Religion Kenneth Koltun-Fromm and Assistant Professor of Religion Molly Farneth


Here’s what they had to say about their class:

This course explores the role of food and eating in religion, with a particular focus on American religion. Students learn about how food practices—including dietary laws, feasts, fasts, and other rituals and foodways—construct religious identities, social bodies, and ethical ideals. Students cook and eat together, hosting six different food events over the course of the semester, and have a chance to learn from religious people engaged in food practices, including a group of Muslim and Jewish women who cook halal meals for families experiencing food insecurity in the Philadelphia area and organic farmers at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker Farm. Through these engagements, we hope students learn to think about religions as not merely collections of beliefs or doctrines, but as material practices with social and ethical implications.

Co-teaching is difficult because one has to figure out how to coordinate each class and set of readings. But that process is intellectually productive because we bring different interests and emphases to the course and learn from each other as we think through issues in material religion and religious ritual. We also rarely have the opportunity to see each other actually teach a class, and so we can try new approaches and become unsettled in our own teaching approaches.


See what other courses the Department of Religion is offering this semester.

Photos by Abigail Harrison ’19.

Cool Classes is a series that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford experience.