Alexandria Digital Research Library

"How to eat to live" : dietetics and economies of salvation in the Nation of Islam, 1965-1975

Author:
Wright, Stephanie Genevieve
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Religious Studies
Degree Supervisor:
Juan Campo and Sherene Seikaly
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2016
Issued Date:
2016
Topics:
Islamic studies
Keywords:
Race and religion
Critical eating studies
Anthropology of religion
Nation of Islam
History of American religions
Ritual theory
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
M.A.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016
Description:

This thesis examines Elijah Muhammad's preoccupation with and eclectic interpretation of Islamic diet as articulated in the How to Eat to Live series, published in articles as well as two books between 1965 and 1975. It argues that the gravity that Muhammad accorded to dietary practice offers important clues about the place of the body in a political economy of the sacred that was central to the Nation's activities during this period. A close reading of these texts complicates the view of the eating body as a "symbol" for social and political ambitions. Instead, it reveals how correct consumption was instrumental to the production of two sacred bodies: the physical body of the Original Man, and the political-economic body of the Nation of Islam. This thesis shows how Muhammad conceptualized eating as part of a set of divinely prescribed practices that aimed to discipline the body in order to liberate the members of the Lost-Found Nation from mental, physical, and economic slavery. Within this economy, the everyday matters of what, when, where and how to eat were far from trivial, or even "secular" concerns. On the contrary, they constituted a critical component in the technologies of the self which were, in Muhammad's view, the instruments of both individual and collective salvation.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (56 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f3mk6d2c
ISBN:
9781369339567
Catalog System Number:
990047190210203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Stephanie Wright
File Description
Access: Public access
Wright_ucsb_0035N_13032.pdf pdf (Portable Document Format)