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Dec 18, 2018
This special issue of Nova Religio brings together four articles that examine particular intersections of new religious movements and food. Dan McKanan examines spiritual food practices within the loose network of spiritual movements associated with Anthroposophy, the turn of the century “spiritual science” developed by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) that continues to have resonance today. Susannah Crockford contributes an article on fasting traditions in the contemporary New Age movement, based on her ethnographic fieldwork in Sedona, Arizona. Dusty Hoesly writes on the countercultural California group the Brotherhood of the Sun, which operated a series of highly successful food businesses in the 1970s and 1980s, and which he situates within a tradition of mindful food production and consumption. Constance Elsberg’s study of food practices and food entrepreneurship in Yogi Bhajan’s (1929–2004) Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization (3HO) movement uses the lens of food to examine the group’s growth, institutionalization, and subsequent struggles. This introduction contextualizes these four movements, and other new religious movements, in terms of their engagement with food, using the lenses of social, cultural, economic, and structural factors.


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