Religion as Embodied Taste

Using Food to Rethink Religion


  • Benjamin E. Zeller Lake Forest College



embodiment, taste, food, lived religion, cognitive science


This article offers a model of conceptualising religion as taste. Using religion and food as a point of entry, it demonstrates how modelling religion as taste permits attention to such concepts as embodiedness, the place of the senses within religious experience, the relation of memory to experience, and the mediation of culture. I draw on the cognitive and biological science of taste, and argue that religion functions analogously to this sense, experienced through the brain, body, and mind. The article uses the intersection of religion and food, and religion and visual taste, to develop the theme of how culturally conditioned tastes emerge out of embodied experiences, with reference to memories, past experiences, and collective worldviews.

Author Biography

Benjamin E. Zeller, Lake Forest College

Benjamin E. Zeller is an associate professor of religion at Lake Forest College (Illinois, USA).


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How to Cite

Zeller, B. E. (2017). Religion as Embodied Taste: Using Food to Rethink Religion. Body and Religion, 1(1), 10–30.