The history of the idea of chocolate is somewhat similar to the history of how we think about religions. Chocolate became chocolate through colonial encounter and appropriation. Without colonialism, we would not talk about chocolate – the same with religion.
Religion is like chocolate.
I don’t mean this literally.
Religion is not chocolate, and chocolate is not religion. But there are similarities.
The thing we assume chocolate to be was created, developed, and economically controlled by particular European individuals, rulers, and businesses.
And after 500 years of European colonialism in America, it is very hard now to find any form of chocolate that exists beyond what Europeans have made chocolate to be.
This is where the analogy with religion comes in. Religion – in particular, the idea of religion and religions of the world – is equally something that has emerged from similar histories of European colonialism.
The full text of this podcast episode can be found on the Religion Bites blog.
About the Religion Bites Podcast
Religion Bites is a podcast by Malory Nye, an academic and writer based in Perth, Scotland.
The Religion Bites podcast gives you quick and simple intros to the study of religion, to help you think a bit further about the issues of religion and culture in the contemporary world. If we want to understand today’s world, we need to ‘get’ why people are religious – why they ‘do religion’ in the many ways that religion is done. This is not a podcast about being religious, it is about understanding religion and the role that religion has in the contemporary world.