Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(918 words)

1. In religious history. Fasting is abstention from food for ethico-religious reasons. Historically, fasting in primitive as well as in more advanced societies is based on the experience that while food provides strength for the spirit by giving physical strength, man disturbs and destroys the inner order of spirit and body, if he fails to control the amount he eats and drinks. The phenomenon of fasting also rests on the notion that a meal is an occasion and expression of joy. Historically one must…

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Marcellino Zalba, “Fasting”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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