This essay examines the role of vegetarianism during the formative period of the Unity School of Christianity (1895-1938). Unity, based in the Kansas City area, taught that vegetarianism was an integral component of regenerating the body. Scholars studying the New Thought movement have only recently begun to recognize the body's role in salvation in these religious movements. By examining the interaction between the practice of vegetarianism and Unity's belief that the body must be regenerated, I show both how vegetarianism was integral to defining and putting into practice Unity's religious beliefs and how it helped to develop religious identity by marking the behavioral boundaries of a Unity member.
Eating for Unity: Vegetarianism in the Early Unity School of Christianity
jeremy rapport is a doctoral candidate in the religious studies department at Indiana University, Bloomington. He studies American religious history, new and alternative religions in America, and the relationship between religion and culture, with a special interest in religion and food. Rapport is currently completing his dissertation on ““Becoming Unity: The Making of an American Religion,”” which examines the development of the Unity School of Christianity as an alternative religious movement in America.
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jeremy rapport; Eating for Unity: Vegetarianism in the Early Unity School of Christianity. Gastronomica 1 May 2009; 9 (2): 35–44. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2009.9.2.35
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