Fasting
(450 words)

Traditional fasting practices are to be found in nearly all religions. In many tribal cultures, fasting is practiced before hunting, to avert natural catastrophes (solar eclipses, storms), before a battle, or as a sign of mourning. Fasting is generally regarded as a means of repelling insalubrious powers, or ‘evil,’ or of calling upon the good powers. It is practiced before the celebration of rites of initiation, as part of a fertility rite, or for the observance of the new year. In literate cul…

Cite this page
von Braun, Christina, “Fasting”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 16 August 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5287_bdr_SIM_00025>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223



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