Fasting as practiced by Jews, Christians, Muslims and others is the focus of this handy little guide by Rogers, a writer and oral historian. In this latest installment in Sorin’s Exploring a Great Spiritual Practice series, the author, whose background is Roman Catholic and Jewish, brings together a multiplicity of religious and secular fasting traditions, showing similarities and differences among them.
In addition to covering the practices of the “big three” monotheistic religions and their primary fast days and seasons, Rogers delves into fasting by Hindus, Buddhists and Native Americans. She then explores political fasting, personal fasting outside of religious seasons and holistic fasting, highlighting Indian Ayurveda and yoga and China’s Qigong self-healing system.
Among Rogers’s more interesting findings is that despite a strong historical tradition of fasting, the practice has actually declined among modern-day Christians, except for Mormons, who continue to fast on the first Sunday of each month, and evangelicals, who have recently revived the practice.
Rogers also notes that even as Muslims submit to the rigorous monthlong Ramadan fast, some report gaining weight because of the food consumed at nightly break-the-fast gatherings. Although much of Rogers’s text is instructive in tone, real-life testimonies about fasting provide welcome texture and color. Overall, this book will serve as a fine introduction to the subject for a diverse audience.
Author: Carole Garibaldi Rogers
Year of Release: 2004