Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World's Holy Dead
A fascinating, intelligent, and sometimes funny tour of the human relics at the root of the world’s major religions
By examining relics—the bits and pieces of long-dead saints at the heart of nearly all religious traditions—Peter Manseau delivers a book about life, and about faith and how it is sustained. The result of wide travel and the author’s own deep curiosity, fill...more
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It is also probably most surprising reading experience I’ve had for a very long time. It’s a great travelog, it’s incredibly funny, equally educational, shocking (how surprising!), ticklingly blasphemous, and absolutely bizarre!
You really would not even imagine (if you’re unfamiliar with the world of relics like myself) what people are able to do with something (human origin) that consider sacred but even ...more
There's an imp ...more
Manseau describes his encounters with numerous far-flung relics, includi ...more
A few years ago I had the occasion to travel to eastern Orthodox lands.
In Istanbul, our student group visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and in their church building are the relics of St John Chrysostum. It was a sacred moment for me, one who's never considered relics worth considering.
On another occasion day of that trip, our group was honored to be in a place where the ...more
Manseau seeks out at least one fleshly representa ...more
From page 11:
"While questions of relics' origins and provenance fascinate me, to see a finger believed to be that of John the Baptist is to see an object that people have come to kneel before and pray to for centuries. I am as interested in the stories it has inspired as in the story of the object it...more
A Gentle Ribbing (name of said chapter), indeed. You, yourself, came off jealous, peevish, and more than a little childish and churlish when speaking of Dr Cha ...more
I was, however put off by the religious snark factor. I enjoy sarcasm and wit, d ...more
Now that I have read this, I know way more about Jesus' foreskin than I ever thought I would. Truly, reading broadens the mind.
My favourite sentence: There are several other Buddha's teeth in the world today, and all of them are politically active.
Also, I will never again think of Saturn's rings without thinking of ba ...more
From the first chapter about the Catholic St. Francis Xavier's uncorrupted body in Goa, India to the Muslim hair from the beard of the Prophet in Kashmir to the tooth of the Buddha in Sr Lanka, we are told some of the stories, the background, and attitudes toward these relic.
This is a fine ...more
""Those who believe in relics will rarely be presuaded they are anything other than what their faith says they are; those who suppose all relics are frauds will likewise rarely be persuaded that there is any value in the belief they inspire. p. 132
Muslim and Buddhist relics are also included in this world wide travalogue and of those who make pilgrimages to be in their presence.
The book is respectful but has it's humorous moments and does not shy from the questions of authenticity.