Despite their best intentions, people are imperfect and will inevitably make mistakes. They yearn for a chance to start over, to right wrongs, and to create a better future by improving upon the past. Several religious holidays around the world are devoted to this task. These observances allow individuals to reflect on their errors and make amends with those they have wronged. ""Lent, Yom Kippur, and Other Atonement Days"" focuses on the observation of Lent in the Christian tradition, the Jewish observance of Yom Kippur, and Vassa, the Buddhist practice also known as the Rains Retreat or Buddhist Lent. The Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist days of atonement vary greatly in beliefs and customs across different regions, but each has the ultimate goal of the practitioners bettering themselves through prayer, humility, and repentance.
Amy Hackney Blackwell has degrees from Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Virginia. She has written numerous articles and books on history, geography, science, and law. Blackwell lives in South Carolina.