From the Persian poet Rumi through the Old Testament Israelites to the political protests of the suffragettes, New Generation Thinker Christopher Kissane, of the London School of Economics, explores the history of fasting. Eating and avoiding hunger are our most basic goals, yet for thousands of years people have deliberately denied themselves food as an act of faith or conscience. What is the history of fasting, and why do billions still fast today? Recorded with an audience at the York Festival of Ideas. New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by the BBC with the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics who can turn their research into radio. Producer: Jacqueline Smith. Image: Christopher Kissane. Credit: Ian Martindale.