Fasting & Faith: Part 1

Fasting’s Role in the Ancient Times and Today

How do we respond when we feel like the world around us is out of control? For millennia, people have found rituals – like fasting – can help them achieve clarity or a sense of control. Martyn Oliver, a senior professorial lecturer in the department of philosophy and religious studies at American University, says the practice of fasting most likely predates organized religion. And we explore the different ways individuals and communities are embracing the ancient ritual of abstaining from food, water, intimacy, and comfort as a response to modern life.

Catholic Activists Make Space and Time for Action During the Lenten Fast

Many Catholics decide to give up foods like candy or soda for a personal fast during Lent. But one group of mostly Catholic activists are instead giving up their time to demonstrate in support of undocumented immigrants. We have this story from a demonstration at the end of last month on Capitol Hill. Produced by Melissa Feito. 

Purim’s Heroine Esther in the Me Too Era

Earlier this month the Jewish community celebrated the festival of Purim. It involves feasting and wearing costumes, while remembering the story of how a queen saved the ancient Jewish people. And we hear from two women who are finding new inspiration in this ancient story to stand with oppressed women in the #MeToo era.  Abigail Pogrebin is the author of My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew and 
Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman is the author of Ohev Shalom: The National Synagogue. 

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