sacred-shitI have encountered all sorts of strange rituals in my engagement with other religions, but possibly the strangest I have ever personally witnessed was cow dung puja.

It was many years ago in Darling Harbour, at one of the seasonal Mind Body Spirit Festivals. I had struck up a conversation with some Hindu converts earlier that day and they’d invited me along to their sunset ritual. Ever curious, I eagerly accepted and arrived at dusk, just as they were lighting up this sacred … faeces, imported specially from India. They prayed over it in a kneeling posture, offering devotion to their gods and goddesses. I was amazed. But then, how strange must our ways seem to others? After all, we Christians indulge in symbolic cannibalism.

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