Hieronymus Bosch's The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things.
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food, or its withholding from the needy.
Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. Where food is relatively scarce, being able to eat well might be something to take pride in (although this can also result in a moral backlash when confronted with the reality of those less fortunate). Where food is routinely plentiful, it may be considered a sign of self-control to resist the temptation to over-indulge.
Medieval church leaders (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods. Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, including:
- Praepropere - eating too soon.
- Laute - eating too expensively (washedly).
- Nimis - eating too much.
- Ardenter - eating too eagerly (burningly).
- Studiose - eating too daintily (keenly).
- Forente - eating wildly (boringly).
According to The 7 Deadly Sins web site:
Why you do it: Because you were weaned improperly as an infant.
Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be force-fed rats, toads, and snakes.
Associated symbols & suchlike: Gluttony is linked with the pig and the color orange.
In the words of nineteenth-century Russian Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov:
Wise temperance of the stomach is a door to all the virtues. Restrain the stomach, and you will enter Paradise. But if you please and pamper your stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance.
Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of Gluttony: "Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire... leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists." (2, 148, ad 1)
|The Travelers' Guide to Hell says |
Gluttony is ruled by the celestial sign of Jupiter. Ambition was the original sin of the ancient Mithraic sect (from which the Deadly Sins are alledgedly ripped off), but "when it changed sides and became a virtue, Gluttony was summoned to take its place."
According to The Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft, by Ernst and Johanna Lehner, those who commit the Sin of Gluttony are punished in Hell by being forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes. And you were just worried about getting fat? If after all that you're still considering hurling yourself off the precipice of bodily impurity, why not do it with some...
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Peanut Butter Chips
1/2 cup Hershey's Syrup
Heat oven to 350F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. In large bowl, beat butter and peanut butter. Add sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; mix into peanut butter mixture, blending well. Stir in peanut butter chips. Spread half of batter into prepared pan; spoon syrup over top. Carefully spread with remaining batter; swirl with metal spatula or knife for marbled effect. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. About 36 brownies.