Food and Transformation in Ancient Mediterranean Literature
New research that transforms how to understand food and eating in literature
Meredith J. C. Warren identifies and defines a new genre in ancient texts that she terms hierophagy, a specific type of transformational eating where otherworldly things are consumed. Multiple ancient Mediterranean, Jewish, and Christian texts represent the ramifications of consuming otherworldly food, ramifications that were understood across religious boundaries. Reading ancient texts through the lens of hierophagy helps scholars and students interpret difficult passages in Joseph and Aseneth, 4 Ezra, Revelation 10, and the Persephone myths, among others.