Symbolism, Sacred Art, Metaphysics

The Sacred Origin and Nature of Sports and Culture


This unique study seeks to define two much-discussed aspects of modern society – sports and culture – from a traditional perspective, carefully examining their sacred origin and their relevance throughout history in philosophical and religious thought.

  • 978-1-887752-13-8
  • 139

Product Description

In “The Philosophy Behind Sports,” the author explores both the history of sports and their potential connection with a higher or spiritual ideal (as in Zen archery), then discusses the importance – and abuses – of sports in contemporary society.

He concludes: “Let it be said that sports are sacred or religious in origin, noble in nature, but secularized, abused, and misunderstood in the modern world, and that this is a great shame that could easily be rectified by awareness of their true origin and nature.” Also included is an appendix on the ancient symbolism of the game of chess.

In “What Is Culture?,” he similarly deconstructs the idea of culture, one of the most “thoroughly discussed and laboriously examined” concepts of the modern era since the Renaissance. Going far beyond the simplistic definition of culture as “pertaining to the fine arts” or a mere sociological construct, he posits the idea of a culture as an intellectual refinement that individuals as well as societies “cultivate” within and pass on through tradition.

Not content to merely examine the cultures of the past, the author goes on to suggest what a proper understanding of culture can and should mean for our future: “Culture is the very envelope in which we journey through life, and to ignore it is to ignore the way in which this journey is progressing.”

H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad was educated at Harrow School, received his B.A. from Princeton University summa cum laude and his Ph.D. from Trinity College, Cambridge University. He is currently Cultural Secretary to H.M. King Hussein of Jordan.


"From the very start, Prince Ghazi's provocative study awakens my interest in learning more about this grounded and universal approach to culture and sports. We should all be grateful to him for it."
-David Appelbaum, Parabola
"This scholarly and original work is the first to apply traditional principles to the study of 'sports' and 'culture' by whose desacralized versions today's world is so mesmerized. All those concerned with the appraisal, critique, and evaluation of the diverse aspects of the modern world in light of tradition will be interested in reading this elegantly written treatise."
-Seyyed Hossein Nasr