Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Hospitality and Food

  • Raymond Boisvert
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6167-4_13-2


Introduction: The Archetypes

Humans need food and shelter. Humans also often find themselves in situations when they must depend on others for that shelter and food. They may be traveling or displaced by emergency, war, and natural disaster. As a result, hospitality, the provision of food and shelter to strangers, is a universal human theme. In the Western tradition, it features as central in two foundational narratives: the Bible and Homer’s Odyssey.Practices and mores from Africa, Asia, pre-Columbian America, and Arab cultures all make of hospitality an honored and prescribed activity. When present, it signals a well-ordered, civilized, properly upright community. When absent, it signals offensive, vulgar behavior. As a focus of attention and prioritization, it tended to be more central in the pre-Modern world. Cultural and intellectual changes altered its meaning and role during the Modern era (1500–1900). Still, it remained...


Philosophical Anthropology Ethical Comportment Funeral Oration Foundational Narrative Term Hostis 
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Further Reading

  1. “Idjara” (1971) In The encyclopedia of islam (Vol. III). London: Luzac & Co.Google Scholar
  2. Benveniste, É. (1969, 1973). “Hospitality,” chapter 7. In Indo-European language and society. Miami linguistics series (Vol. 12) (trans: Palmaer, E.). Miami: University of Miami Press.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, J. (1999). Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas (trans: Brault, P. A. & Naas, M.). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Derrida, J. (2001). On cosmopolitanism and forgiveness (trans: Dooley, M. & Hughes, M.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Derrida, J. & Dufourmantelle, A. (2000). Of hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle invites Jacques Derrida to respond (trans: Bowlby, R.). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Diderot, D. (1796, 1964). Supplement to Bougainville’s Voyage. In Rameau’s Nephew and other works (trans: Barzun, J. & Bowen, R. H.). Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.Google Scholar
  7. Heal, F. (1990). Hospitality in early modern England. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  8. Immanuel, K. (1795, 1983). Perpetual peace and other essays on politics, history, and morals (trans: Humphrey, T.). Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  9. Kristeva, J. (1991). Strangers to ourselves (trans: Roudiez, L. S.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. McNulty, T. (1999). Israel as Host(ess): Hospitality in the bible and beyond. Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 3(1–2). Retrieved April 26, 2012 from http://english.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v3i12/mcnult.htm
  11. Montandon, A. (Ed.). (2004). Le livre de l’hospitalité. Paris: Bayard.Google Scholar
  12. Plutarch (1949). On exile. In Moralia (Vol. VII) (trans: De Lacy, P. H. & Einarson, B.). Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Reece, S. (1993). The stranger’s welcome: Oral theory and the aesthetics of the homeric hospitality scene. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  14. Simmel, G. (1908, 1950). The stranger. In The sociology of Georg Simmel (trans: Wolff, K.). New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  15. Telfer, E. (1996). Food for thought: Philosophy and food. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy, Siena CollegeLoudonvilleUSA