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This article will look at the ideology of veganism in the AHIJ. Since the early 1970s their diet has been a core part of their ideology and of their message to the world. Acknowledging that a black/Jewish meat-free diet is far from the exclusive property of the group, let alone a new development on their part, I will argue that it is an expression of the syncretic “bricoleur” nature of Black Israelite thought (Dorman 2013), reflecting, drawing on, and transforming traditions existing in both African American and Jewish thought in and before the twentieth century – principally articulated as a concern for health in the former and a messianic return to the peaceful Edenic existence in the latter. However, Ben Ammi skillfully intertwines it into their theology by arguing that a return to the veganism of the Garden of Eden is part of the community’s redemption of humanity from primordial sin and ultimate overcoming of the curse of death.

Open Access
In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society