Clean and Unclean, Inside and Out

The teaching and practice concerning clean and unclean meats has been a remarkably enduring element of Seventh-day Adventism. I don’t know what the younger generation of Seventh-day Adventists thinks (what there is left of a younger generation to ask), but among their elders, it still has fuel. Ask most Adventists what makes us special, and diet will be on the list. It isn’t at all unusual to hear someone who’s been absent from the church for decades say, “... but, in all these years, pastor, I’ve never eaten pork.” If people outside our community know anything about us, they’re also likely to identify diet as something that sets us apart.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This is an old post—one that showed up before I started commenting here. But this came up in AToday’s “Friday Night Chats,” as a nearly passing remark. This is a critically important subject and a good reason why anthropologists, historians, and sociologists should be part of our various committees that concern belief and practice. I didn’t come across Mary Douglas until I was in graduate school—but she was available when I was still in college, which was a million and half years ago. A good discussion can come from why theology or ministerial classes do not cover important anthropological work.

Maybe I am simply “reviving” the topic, so I am missing some useful responses, here. A revival might be a good thing.

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