Theophagy is the act of eating one's god, usually represented via symbolic ritual (although in the case of Cronus and his offspring, it was a tad literal.) It translates directly from Greek (theos = "god", phagus = "eating"), but its origins date back to some of mankind's earliest civilizations in Babylonia and the Arab world. The Greek themselves used to celebrate the arrival of spring and the earth's returning to life by eating from their new harvests and drinking fresh-made wines in tribute to Ceres and Dionysus. Theophagy also developed independently in a number of other cultures in Africa, South America, and the Pacific Rim, primarily manifesting itself as an animal sacrifice.
Of course, the major practitioners of theophagy today are Christians, who through the concepts of the Eucharist and transubstantiation frequently digest the body and blood of Christ via wafers and wine. It is believed by some theologians that Christians adopted theophagy as a way of pleasing some of the pagan religions scattered across Europe, and that it was this openness to ritualism that gave it the step up to the stronghold it stand as today among world theologies. By taking this inert ritual of praise and celebration, and tying it to the direct sacrifice of a real man who suffered and died, Christianity empowered itself far beyond what other religions could achieve.