Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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For early Christians fasting could express a number of religious meanings, both drawing on and in deliberate counterpoint to others’ practice; and its value as well as its sense were matters of controversy within an evolving set of religious traditions. Alongside other forms of abstinence (from sexual activity, sleep, and wealth or its display) and permanent abstinence from certain foods, fasting could feature in the lives of ordinary Christians, whether …

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Finn, Richard, “Fasting/Abstinence”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2018

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