The health benefits of fasting from food have gotten a lot of attention in the last several years. What’s often forgotten in these discussions, however, is that fasting has been practiced for thousands of years not only for the sake of the body, but for the spirit as well. 

My guest today has written a book, The Sacred Art of Fasting, that explores the different ways fasting is practiced by all of the world’s major religions and how it can be practiced by individuals today. His name is Father Tom Ryan, he’s a priest and author, and today on the show, we discuss the reasons for making fasting a spiritual discipline, how this discipline is practiced within several different religions and can still be practiced by someone who isn’t religious, and how to get started with this universal, age-old discipline. 

Show Highlights

  • The health benefits of fasting
  • What is it about not eating that makes it a spiritual discipline? 
  • The disconnect between the two kinds of fasting literature Father Ryan encountered when he first started studying the topic 
  • What are the spiritual benefits of fasting? 
  • Various fasting practices amongst world religions  
  • Other practices that often go along with fasting
  • The social dimensions of fasting (especially in Islam)  
  • Jesus and fasting, and how it came to be a spiritual discipline in Christianity 
  • How freedom and liberation can be found in discipline 
  • The holistic nature of fasting 
  • How the non-religious can use fasting as a spirit-enhancing practice 
  • Getting started with fasting as a spiritual discipline 
  • Alternative forms of fasting 

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)





Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Recorded on

Podcast Sponsors

Navy Federal Credit Union. Proud to serve over 8 million members, and open to active duty military, DoD, veterans, and their families. Visit for more information, or call 888-842-6328.

Hair Club. The leader in total hair solutions, featuring a comprehensive suite of hair restoration options. Go to for a free hair analysis and a free hair care kit. 

Capterra. The leading free online resource for finding small business software. With over 700 specific categories of software, you’re guaranteed to find what’s right for your business. Go to to try it out for free. 

Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

The post Podcast #488: Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *