Wednesday, October 14, 2020

On transcendent taste

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: SBL 2019 Review Panel | Seeing or Tasting? Human’s Perception of the Heavenly World in Hellenistic Jewish Writings (Angela Standhartinger).
To me, the most important outcome of Warren’s survey of the hierophagic pattern of Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian narratives is exactly this – her observation that myths and narratives indeed remove taste from the margins of the philosophical hierarchy of sense perception. Instead, in the texts she has examined, eating and tasting have become a vital part of the fictive characters’ appreciation of their world.[30] Contrary to leading philosophical traditions and their reception by Philo and other Jewish and Christian writers, in these six texts and traditions the corporeal act of eating as well as the corporeal sense of tasting mediates and conveys contact with the transcendent realm. By tasting food or other heavenly items, a given character is indeed transformed and acts with heavenly knowledge.
I noted the essay introducing this series on Dr. Warren's book, Food and Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Literature here, the first essay here and the second here.

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