The alimentary forms of religious life: technologies of the other, lenience, and the ethics of Ethiopian Orthodox fasting

Malara, D. (2018) The alimentary forms of religious life: technologies of the other, lenience, and the ethics of Ethiopian Orthodox fasting. Social Analysis, 62(3), pp. 21-41. (doi:10.3167/sa.2018.620302)

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Abstract

Focusing on the practice of fasting, this article traces the ethical efforts and conundrums of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians who take their religion seriously, but do not necessarily see themselves as disciplined believers. I argue that the flexibility and lenience of the Orthodox system allow for morally ambivalent disciplinary projects that, in order to preserve their efficacy, must be sustained by an array of intimate relationships with more pious individuals who are fasting for others or on others’ behalf. By examining this relational economy of spiritual care, its temporalities and divisions of labor, I ask whether recent preoccupations with ‘technologies of the self’ in the anthropology of religion might have overlooked the relevance of ‘technologies of the other’.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Malara, Dr Diego Maria
Authors: Malara, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Social Analysis
Publisher:Berghahn Journals
ISSN:0155-977X
ISSN (Online):1558-5727

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