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Food, Festival and Religion: Materiality and Place in Italy - Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion (Hardback)
  • Food, Festival and Religion: Materiality and Place in Italy - Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion (Hardback)

Food, Festival and Religion: Materiality and Place in Italy - Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion (Hardback)

Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 09/08/2018
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Food, Festival and Religion explores how communities in northern Italy find a restorative sense of place through foodways, costuming and other forms of materiality. Festivals examined by the author vary geographically from the northern rural corners of Italy to the fashionable heart of urban Milan. The origins of these lived religious events range from Christian to vernacular Italian witchcraft and contemporary Paganism, which is rapidly growing in Italy. Francesca Ciancimino Howell demonstrates that during ritualized occasions the sacred is located within the mundane. She argues that communal feasting, pilgrimage, rituals and costumed events can represent forms of lived religious materiality. Building on the work of scholars including Foucault, Grimes and Ingold, Howell offers a theoretical "Scale of Engagement" which further tests the interfaces between and among the materialities of place, food, ritual and festivals and provides a widely-applicable model for analyzing grassroots events and community initiatives. Through extensive ethnographic research and fieldwork data, this book demonstrates that popular Italian festivals can be ritualized, liminal spaces, contributing greatly to the fields of religious, performance and ritual studies.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350020863
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm

I believe this work has the potential to be something major. In my opinion and from my experience in the overall field, this book constitutes a real treasure and is something not to be missed. It is infused with the same gentle warmth and informative freshness that is Francesca Howell herself. * Michael York, Professor Emeritus of Cultural Astronomy, Bath Spa University, UK *
The book draws on fascinating field data and engages with ideas that are pertinent and current. It provides unique insights into the North Italian context with regard to the themes it addresses. * Kathryn Rountree, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Head of School, Massey University, New Zealand *
Festivals and foods not only take place but make places. They not only arise from religions and cultures but shape and flavour them. Attention to the materiality of places, foods and festivity - and to interacting bodies - greatly improves our understanding of religion as it is lived in ritual and everyday contexts. Food, Festival and Religion offers a feast to be savoured as the study of material religion gains ground. * Graham Harvey, Professor of Religious Studies, The Open University, UK *
This innovative ethnography examines the links between local festivals, religious materiality, and the ways communities construct a sense of place in northern Italy. By examining both mainstream political festival organization and that of alternative new religions such as Druidry, it paints a vivid picture of how groups link heritage and identity using discourse, symbols, and enactments. Critical to anyone wishing to understand the complex relationships between globalization, localization, and the emergence of blood-and-soil nationalisms in Europe. * Sabina Magliocco, Professor of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Canada *

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