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March 26 , 2009

The Sacraments

An Interdisciplinary and Interactive Study


What are the sacraments, really?

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For centuries, the religious lives of Catholics and other Christians have revolved around church rituals with generally accepted individual and social effects. What, precisely, are those effects, and how are they produced? Traditional theology used Greek philosophy to understand the sacraments and how they work. But is there no other way to understand them? In fact, there are a number of ways, and this book invites you to look at the sacraments through a variety of lenses: psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, theology, morality, and spirituality.

As the introduction to this volume challenges, If you read this book, and especially if you engage in the interactive study to which it invites you, your understanding of sacraments will be changed forever."

To help personalize your investigation, the author has created a web site with thought-provoking questions that encourage you to interact with the ideas being proposed in this volume. To engage these topics more deeply, see

Joseph Martos is author of Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church, which for more than a quarter of a century has been the most widely read book on the subject. Recently retired from full-time teaching, he has been a visiting professor in universities and theology schools in Canada and Australia as well as around the United States.

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