Somehow I missed the fact that my good friend Dr. Richard Wright (Jim W. you need to get to know this fellow Baptist!) has started a very thoughtful blog. I should note that I have known Richard since we were at Cornell together and he taught me biblical Hebrew. (He stuck around and did his doctorate at CU.) RW is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I know and this blog reflects that. It also reflects the quirk of his mind and humor, such as this post: “What do Elves (not) eat? Tolkien, elven cuisine, and the Christian discipline of fasting.” Give it a read and then bookmark his blog!
Elves – in J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology – do not eat meat.
Now I need to confirm this – I admit I have not scanned every work by J. R. R. Tolkien including the apocryphal publications prepared by his son Christopher Tolkien. The other Races – Dwarves, Men, Hobbits – do eat meat. Not all the time. But sometimes they eat meat. (Again – I have not scanned every work by Tolkien to confirm that either.)
Why is this important?
For the last few months I have been trying to practice the Orthodox Christian discipline of (partial) fasting. Which is to say no animal products on Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s one thing to be a vegetarian and still include eggs and dairy. Great sources of protein! But we’re talking Vegan baby. No eggs. No milk on your morning cereal. Not even butter on your toast.
(Bishop) Kallistos Ware explains the rationale for fasting in the context of warfare against the passions (defined as “any disordered appetite or longing that violently takes possession of the soul”).