CFP: Food and Faith in the Early Modern World c. 1400 – c. 1700. 

This one day workshop will take place at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge on 23rd November 2018.

Confirmed keynote speaker is Professor Rebecca Earle (Warwick).

As the field of Food History has come into fruition in the last two decades, historians are increasingly following anthropologists in recognising that food and eating play a significant role in religious identity formation. Since through eating food literally becomes us, food is intricately connected to how we understand the body, the material world, and the functioning of the spiritual realm within this system.

The early modern period offers a particularly rich insight into the topic, as the Protestant Reformation divided the religious identities of Christian Europe, and as European expansionism necessitated moments of encounter between people of different, and otherwise unknown, faiths. Yet, only a handful of studies have begun to address this topic.

This one day conference accordingly aims to explore the multifaceted connections between food and religion in the early modern world, c. 1400 – c. 1700. It takes a broad geographical view, to encourage discussion of a range of religions, in accordance with a recent historical drive to recognise the global significance of historical events.

All are welcome  to submit abstracts (300 words max.) for a proposed 20 minute paper to Eleanor Barnett at by 21 September 2018. 

We are particularly keen to hear from graduate students and welcome submissions from those from any department.

The day will include a round-table discussion from current members of the major religions on the way food plays into the expression of their faith.

A programme will be released in October, along with an opportunity to sign up to attend for free. If you wish to be first on the list to attend, please do email me before then.


Centeotl, the maize deity in Aztec mythology, as depicted in the Borgia Codex (c. 1500).

We are very grateful for the financial support of the Trevelyn Fund and Christ’s College, Cambridge.