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Virtues and Their Vices$
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Kevin Timpe and Craig A. Boyd

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199645541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645541.001.0001

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Gluttony and Abstinence

Gluttony and Abstinence

(p.136) (p.137) 6 Gluttony and Abstinence
Virtues and Their Vices

Robert B. Kruschwitz

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the capital vice of gluttony as essentially a deformation of one’s nexus of beliefs about and sensory desires for food and drink, which has social implications because its origin, in part, and destructive outworking are in distorted personal relationships and institutions of society. Since gluttony reshapes one’s physical appetites, leading to greater or less sensory pleasure in food in keeping with the deformed beliefs and attitudes, this vice’s remedy requires what John Cassian calls ‘a twofold cure’ of bodily discipline (like abstinence or temporary fasting from certain foods) as well as corrective reflection on eating and hospitality. To resist a contemporary trend that reduces gluttony to a medical disorder that manifests primarily in overweight or obesity, the chapter canvases five species of gluttony articulated by Gregory the Great and Thomas Aquinas

Keywords:   gluttony, abstinence, fasting, pleasure, desire, food, drink, capital vice, Thomas Aquinas, Gregory the Great, John Cassian

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