Sacred Origins of Profound Things

Sacred Origins of Profound Things

The Stories Behind the Rites and Rituals of the World’s Religions

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101656075
  • 608 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


In this enlightening and entertaining work, Charles Panati explores the origins of hundreds of religious rituals, customs, and practices in many faiths, the reasons for religious holidays and sacred symbols, and the meanings of vestments, sacraments, devotions, and prayers. Its many revelations include:

* Why the Star of David became the Jewish counterpart of the Christian cross

* What mortal remains of the Buddha are venerated today

* How the diamond engagement ring became a standard

* That the first pope was a happily married man

* How Hindu thinkers arrived at their concept of reincarnation

* Why Jews don’t eat pork, why some Muslims don’t eat certain vegetables, and how some Christians came to observe meatless Fridays

Sacred Origins of Profound Things is an indispensable resource for all those interested in the history of religion and the history of ideas–and an inspiring guide to those seeking to understand their faith.

Sacred Origins of Profound Things

Sacred Origins of Profound Things

Written by: Charles Panati

Table of Contents

Sacred Origins of Profound ThingsWhy We Believe

What We Believe: Introduction

Part 1. Popular Piety

1. Prayer Postures: Hands Joined to Heads Covered

2. Best-Loved Prayers: Apostles’ Creed to Agnus Dei

3. Acts of Devotion: Rosary to Hajj

Part II. Heavenly Hosts

4. Angels: Messengers to Guardians

5. Archangels and Demons: Michael to Metatron

Part III. Wise Words

6. Moral Codes: Ten Commandments to Golden Rule

7. Biblical Phrases: “Writing on the Wall” to “Eye to Eye”

Part IV. Rites and Rituals

8. Sacred Symbols: Halo to Star of David

9. Dressed to Kill: Vestments to Vessels

10. Sacraments: Godparents to Seven Deadly Sins

11. Vows That Bind: Celibate Priests to Ordained Women

Part V. Feasts And Festivals

12. Christian Feasts: Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday

13. Jewish Feasts: Passover to Hanukkah

Part VI. Saints And Their Bones

14. Saints: Abused Virgins to Celibate Clerics

15. Relics: Buddha’s Tooth to Christ’s Cross

16. Patron Saints: AIDS to Cyberspace

Part VII. Celestial Personae

17. God: Appearance to Existence

18. Christ: Son to Trinity

19. Allah: Abraham to Koran

Part VIII. I Do

20. Marriage: Mazal Tov to Diamond Ring

21. Divorce: Get to Jackie Kennedy Onassis

22. Annulment: Impotency to Senator Edward Kennedy

Part IX. Extraordinary Evil

23. Satan: Lucifer to Genies

24. Exorcism: Satan to Dybbuk

25. Antichrist: “666” to Apocalypse Now

Part X. Divine Dos And Dont’s

26. Forbidden Foods: Pork Chops to Meatless Fridays

27. Forbidden Sex: Gay to Lesbian

28. Contraception: Condoms to Crushed Testicles

Part XI. Religious Realms

29. Heaven: Soul to Immortality

30. Hell: Hot to Hotter

31. Purgatory: Divine Comedy to Sale of Indulgences

32. Limbo: Original Sin to the Harrowing

Part XII. Acts Of Faith

33. Miracles: Raising the Dead to Stigmata

34. Virginity of the Virgin: Immaculate Conception to Virgin Birth

35. Visions of the Virgin: Guadalupe to Medjugorje

36. Papal Infallibility: Tradition to Dogma

References and Reading