[lit-ideas] Re: Ask the Ayatollah

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2006 09:57:43 -0700

On Oct 7, 2006, at 7:11 AM, JimKandJulieB@xxxxxxx wrote:

But in Christianity fasting is a personal thing for special occasions and it is not made public -- one does not let anyone know that they are fasting.  It is a very private way of submitting one's whole being to God.  There are a couple dozen references to fasting in the Tanakh (the Christian Old Testament) and of course Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert according to the gospels.  I think the Christian concept of fasting must largely come, though, from the Tanakh.

National, public days of prayer and fasting were common responses to calamity in Britain and her colonies. I recall coming across proclamations when I studied the 1832 cholera epidemic. I don't know for sure if they occurred elsewhere in Europe, but I'd be surprised if it was a peculiarly British notion.

Here is an American example:


If you type "day of prayer and fasting" into your search engine, you'll find that those who live in the land of the Great Satan still call for them from time to time.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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