Monks: Fasting, Foraging and Praying in the Desert

A splendid photo from 1858, of the colossal Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens spurred me to write today's episode: A top of the ancient columns, protruding was a weird structure, almost placed on top as joke. What was it? This, it transpired, was the hut of a monk! A hermit, a stylite, an ascetic who lived his days praying on top of this magnificent ancient monument in the centre of 19th Century Athens.

A history of monasticism: one that traces the history of Christian religious life through food, eating and fasting. More importantly though,finding at the end that it is about the deliberate relegation of food and eating to a purely physical need, separated from any conscious emotion of pleasure or displeasure, on the part of individuals and collectives who followed a Christian religious life in the period from the earliest days through to the late Middle Ages. All the way from the Sinai Desert and the isolation of Dead Sea caves through to the forests of Northern England.

Easter is nearly here, and I thought that some Lenten recipes would be welcome if we would like to imitate the lifestyle of the first desert fathers and on this episode I have two recipes in the spirit of fasting that hope will inspire you.


Thom & The Delicious Legacy

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