Religion With Sports and Politics
"We want so much to see sports solely as an arena of play, not seriousness. But here's the thing, this can cheapen not only the greatness and relevance of sports to us as a society, but also the courage of the athletes" (The Nation). The pursuit of fame, wealth and status can blind the human conscious, which is why it is important for us to encourage athletes to speak their minds. As a nation, we should not silence the athletes, because it is the truly courageous athletes who have the audacity to stand up when it’s not popular.
For instance, a visitor from Europe once asserted that religion seemed to be hugely influential in American public life as he saw religious messages nearly everywhere. For instance, he saw a sign of on a bumper of a delivery truck informing pedestrians of Jesus. Later he observed a notice on a lawn requesting passers by to call a toll free number if they were in need of prayers.
While most of the essays in this issue employ theoretical approaches, Robert Ellis, Terry Shoemaker, Andrew Parker and Mark Oliver also use social scientific research methods. The authors’ diverse expertise and research methods yield fascinating new questions and postulations that expand this field of inquiry.Eric Bain-Selbo and Gregory Sapp do an excellent job, in their 2016 book Understanding Sport as a Religious Phenomenon—An Introduction, establishing that sports have the capacity to achieve ends similar to those achieved by organized religions (Bain-Selbo and Sapp 2016).
Bain-Selbo, Eric, and Gregory D. Sapp. 2016. Understanding Sport as a Religious Phenomenon—An Introduction. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Trothen, Tracy J. 2018. Spirituality, Sport, and Doping: More Than Just a Game. Springer Briefs Sport and Religion Series; Basel: Springer International Publishing.
Watson, Nick J., and Andrew Parker. 2013. Sports and Christianity: Mapping the Field. In Sports and Christianity: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Edited by Nick J. Watson and Andrew Parker. New York: Routledge, pp. 9–88.