Course info

  • PRICE: 95€ (approx. $104)

  • LANGUAGE: The course is held in English language

  • SUBTITLES: All videos include English subtitles (closed captions)

  • LEVEL: The course is designed at an introductory level

  • PREREQUISITES: The course does not require any precedent knowledge or requisites

  • SCHEDULE: Lessons will be released weekly after start. Enroll & start following the course any time

  • STRUCTURE: The course is stuctured in 10 Lessons, subdivided in a variable number of Sections plus other studying material (articles, bibliography, audio etc.). Each Section includes one video. In order to proceed within the course you must complete all Sections of each Lesson including a small assessment quiz. Lessons are released one every week after start

  • LENGTH: To complete the entire course are required approx. 15 hours (videos + readings). Bear in mind that each lesson will be available one week from another

Watch a short intro to the course

The course includes:

  • Approx. 10 hours of HD video lessons

  • Downloadable readings & other study material

  • Unlimited access to the course for 1 year (365 days)

  • Full access from any device

  • Step-by-step quizzes to assess your comprehension and progress

  • Community forum to discuss topics & issues with the other students

  • CAMNES Certificate of Attendance upon successful completion

Course curriculum

  • 1

    PRESENTATION

    • Food for the Soul: Presentation of the Course

  • 2

    LESSON 1 - THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA

    • L1S1 - Why we eat what we eat

    • L1S2 - The origins of food preferences and likes

    • L1S3 - Why food and religion?

    • Reader lesson 1

    • Quiz lesson 1

  • 3

    LESSON 2 - DIVINE DINNERS

    • L2S1 - Of Sacrifices and Offerings in Religious Cultures

    • L2S2 - Ancient Greek world's sacrificial culture

    • L2S3 - Wine drinking in Greek Symposia

    • L2S4 - Ancient Roman sacrifices

    • L2S5 - The Hindu prasada

    • Reader lesson 2

    • Quiz lesson 2

  • 4

    LESSON 3 - FOOD AS PATH TO PERFECTION (I): FASTING

    • L3S1 - Food for purity

    • L3S2 - Medieval women fasting

    • L3S3 - Jainist asceticism

    • L3S4 - Temporary fasting: The importance if recurrences

    • Reader lesson 3

    • Quiz lesson 3

  • 5

    LESSON 4 - FOOD AS PATH TO PERFECTION (II): TABOOS

    • L4S1 - Considerations on food taboos

    • L4S2 - Taboo animals

    • L4S3 - The "abominable pig"

    • Reader lesson 4

    • Quiz lesson 4

  • 6

    LESSON 5 - FOOD AS PATH TO PERFECTION (III): VEGETARIANISM and INTOXICANTS

    • L5S1 - Religious vegetarianism

    • L5S2 - The Manichean diet

    • L5S3 - Vegetarian Hinduism

    • L5S4 - Vegetarian Buddhism and more

    • L5S5 - Alcohol free...or not?

    • Reader lesson 5

    • Quiz lesson 5

  • 7

    LESSON 6 - FEASTING (I) FOR SESONAL CHANGES

    • L6S1 - Festive food to commemorate

    • L6S2 - The importance of seasonal renewals

    • L6S3 - Feasting in modern Japan and India

    • L6S4 - Chinese lunar New Year festival

    • Reader lesson 6

    • Quiz lesson 6

  • 8

    LESSON 7 - FEASTING (II) FOR LIFE-STAGES

    • L7S1 - Celebrating life-cycle events

    • L7S2 - Feasting for births

    • L7S3 - Feasting for the coming of age

    • L7S4 - Feasting for marriages

    • L7S5 - Feasting for deaths

    • L7S6 - "Eating one's own": Cannibalism as funerary practice

    • Reader lesson 7

    • Quiz lesson 7

  • 9

    LESSON 8 - FEASTING (III) FOR REMEMBRANCE

    • L8S1 - Commemorative feasting in Judaism

    • L8S2 - Islamic and Christian feasts

    • L8S3 - Feasting in the Hindu tradition

    • Reader lesson 8

    • Quiz lesson 8

  • 10

    LESSON 9 - (THE SACRED) DINNER IS SERVED (I): RELIGION-BASED FOOD PREPARATION AND ETIQUETTE

    • L9S1 - The rituals of dinner

    • L9S2 - God's table manners

    • L9S3 - Preparing meat "according to the commandments"

    • L9S4 - The "sacred kitchen": of spaces, utensils and more

    • Reader lesson 9

    • Quiz lesson 9

  • 11

    LESSON 10 - (THE SACRED) DINNER IS SERVED (II): COOKS AND CHEFS AS MASTERS OF CEREMONIES

    • L10S1 - Women's holy cooking

    • L10S2 - The art of tenzo

    • Reader lesson 10

    • Quiz lesson 10

  • 12

    FINAL EXAM

    • Questions

Main learning outcomes

  • Anthropology

    Understand the role of food in past and present religious contexts, in identity building and its influence on contemporary cultures and gastronomic traditions

  • Religion

    Learn about food taboos, rituals, diets, rules, traditions and practices to better understand past and present religious identities and practices

  • Gastronomy

    Discover the religious and cultural roots of modern day cuisine as well as past and contemporary culinary trends

Meet your instructor

Senior lecturer

Cecilia Bergonzini

Cecilia Bergonzini is a teaching professor at Lorenzo de Medici Institute of Florence since 2000, where she has been teaching various courses in the area of Humanities, and more specifically in Philosophy and Religious Studies, History, and Gender Studies Departments. From 2005 to today she has also been teaching special core courses for University of North Carolina, Cuny (City University of New York – Honors Program) and Iowa State University among others. She is also currently acting as MA Thesis Advisor for Master of Arts in Museum Studies Program as affiliate for Marist College. Professor Bergonzini’s teaching philosophy is one of commitment to critical thinking through interdisciplinary approach within he various subject areas, so to engage students in a learning experience that goes beyond their classroom walls.

- Course enrollment -

Expand you idea and knowledge of cultural identity, gastronomy and religion