In this age of maladaptive eating, deprivation, malnutrition, and excess are common experiences. In profound ways we are eating ourselves to death. Some point to structural issues or certain industries as the culprit, while others identify manufactured foodstuffs as the ultimate cause. Others focus more on our wallets, encouraging us to consider labor, environmental, or animal welfare issues among others when purchasing food; or, they urge us to buy into a diet that is backed by smiling celebrities and supposed scientific claims. Such efforts, while helpful, orient our attention to laws, foodstuffs, and brand allegiance, that is, to things external to us. This talk proposes a different approach that reclaims persons as eaters and attends to internal cues. Resources for this counter-cultural perspective are as old and as sophisticated as our religions and philosophies, and as intimate as our bodies. Appreciating ourselves as eaters of the world may be a powerful start to learning how to eat (just) enough.
Jonathan K. Crane is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar in Bioethics and Jewish Thought in the Center for Ethics at Emory University. He holds a B.A. from Wheaton College, an M.A. in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.Phil. in Gandhian thought from Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad, India. As a Wexner Graduate Fellow, Crane received both rabbinic ordination and a M.A. in Hebrew Letters from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. He completed a Ph.D. in Modern Jewish Thought at the University of Toronto. Crane has presented at conferences and taught around the world on such themes as Jewish ethics, bioethics, social and political ethics, warfare ethics, eating ethics, comparative religious ethics and interfaith relations, and Gandhian philosophy. He is the author of Narratives and Jewish Bioethics (2013) and Ahimsa: The Way to Peace (2007, with Jordi Agusti-Panareda), co-editor with Elliot Dorff of The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality (2012), and editor of Beastly Morality: Animals as Ethical Agents (2015). Forthcoming books include Eating Ethically: Religious, Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Eating Well, and an edited volume tentatively entitled Race with Jewish Ethics. He founded and co-edits the Journal of Jewish Ethics.
Free and open to the public. Reception following.
This lecture is made possible by additional support from the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative.