Friday, February 5, 2010

Religion and Football

As masses of people in the United States and elsewhere huddle around food, drink, and the altar of their HD television sets this Sunday for the Super Bowl, some of the old questions about the relationship between football and religion are on  the radar again. For example, Shirl James Hoffman, author of Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sports, will appear on the American television show "Fox and Friends" this Sunday--Super Bowl Sunday--to discuss the question "Do faith and football mix?" Here's the publisher's blurb for the book (NFI, by the way):
In recent years the United States has seen an influx of Christian athletes and coaches into big-time sports, as well as a heightened importance placed on sports in church programs and at Christian schools and colleges. However, as Shirl Hoffman critiques, a Christian vision of sport remains merely superficial—replete with prayers before free throws and praises after touchdowns but offering little, if any, alternative vision from the secular sports culture. Good Game retells numerous fascinating stories from the world of ancient and contemporary sports and draws on the history of the Christian tradition to answer “What would it really mean to think Christianly about sport?”
Recently, Books and Culture, a book review magazine published by Christianity Today, reviewed two books in the article "And God Created Football." The End of Autumn: Reflections on My Life in Football (again, NFI), and Football and Philosophy: Going Deep (small FI) each contain material relevant to the connections between football and religion as well as the issue of whether football in some sense constitutes a religion. Whatever one ultimately thinks about these issues, it does seem that sport, including American football, offers moments of transcendence for athletes, coaches, and fans.

15 comments:

rashida said...

Nice comments shared in this Religion and Football post. I like Philosophy of Sport blog comments. That was very nice to read. Thanks for sharing.

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Carl said...

The facts are quite interesting about the old questions and also about the United States and culture and religion about sports is excellent to read.

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