If you’re waiting for the world’s “Holy Men” to tell you the truth about their religions, do you suppose they’ll mention that:
• The Tao Te Ching was only created because Lao Tzu was thrown in jail by a disciple who didn’t want to let him leave town without writing down his teachings?
• “Passover” celebrates God killing all firstborn Egyptian kids while Jewish homes were “passed over” by the angel of death?
• Shinto, a nature-loving, mellow religion, was transformed by the Japanese government into a nationalistic ideology promoting “holy” war?
Adding to its popular 50 THINGS YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW series, Disinformation has teamed with Daniele Bolelli–writer, professor of comparative religion, and renowned martial arts practitioner and philosopher–to tackle an ever more serious and important topic: popular misconceptions about religion. Among other revelations:
• Carpocrates, an early Christian, argued that sex orgies were a key to heaven. Prostitution was a religious duty in Mesopotamian temples.
• The two major Chinese religions (Taoism and Confucianism) are completely at odds with each other and yet are often practiced together.
• Despite having persecuted Jews for 2,000 years, Christian fundamentalists are Israel’s biggest supporters.
Capturing just the right balance of in-depth knowledge, respect, humor and irreverence, Bolelli takes an ecumenical approach to the task, revealing surprising, shocking, and little-known facts about the “big three” religions but also many more, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and, of course, the increasingly popular non-religion: atheism.