28 January 2016, The Tablet

Discipline and its rewards

As Lent approaches, thoughts turn to what people might give up for the season. It can be helpful to make an exploration of the spirituality of fasting, and its often neglected role in the Christian tradition If you do a Google search for “fasting” all the top entries are about weight loss and lifestyle. Then comes a reference to Ramadan. It takes a while before there is any mention of fasting in the Christian tradition. This is extraordinary given both the teaching of Jesus and the extent to which fasting has been part and parcel of the Christian life for huge parts of our history. But it probably reflects reality today where in the historic traditions fasting as a regular part of Christian living has moved to the margins.Fasting has seen a fascinating revival among evangelic
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