Many people are passionate about sport, yet few give thought to its role and importance in their lives — let alone its relationship to Christian faith. This book examines the potential of sports and challenges readers to consider how it relates to their deepest passions, behaviours, and actions, while providing newcomers to the field with a framework to help consider the connection between sports participation and faith-based values.
Featuring academic writers from a range of disciplinary fields, including philosophy, theology, sports studies and education, Sport and Christianity: Practices for the Twenty-First Century sheds insight into the meaning of sports for Christians as participants and as practitioners. Divided into practises for the mind, for the heart, and for moral life, the numerous topics include the value of play in sports, sports as a means for dialogue between faith traditions, sports as a place to cultivate virtue and the Christian spiritual life, and prayer and religious experiences in sports The result is a text that promotes new ways of thinking about the sports-Christianity relationship while at the same time developing a deeper understanding of the place of sports in our everyday lives.
In the Christian world since St. Paul, and in the pagan world even earlier, people have engaged in sports in manners that reflect and further ingrain their beliefs in answers to ultimate questions. In Sport and Christianity: Practices for the Twenty-First Century, Hoven, Parker and Watson seize an opportune moment - given increasing emphasis on sport as well increased scholarly attention to practices and other non-explicitly religious "liturgies" - to analyze this perennial connection afresh. Similar to how many Christians have used discussion of sexuality as an entry point into Christian faith, Christianity and Sport will reward reading not only by scholars but also by a broader audience who may be surprised at just how "religious" they are. * William C. Mattison III Wilsey Family Associate Professor, Department of Theology Senior Advisor: Theological Formation, Alliance for Catholic Education, University of Notre Dame, USA * As a Paralympic Wheelchair athlete who also follows the Christian faith, I am delighted to endorse this book that explores the many ways in which sports and Christianity inter-face, and includes contributions from the world's leading scholars and practitioners in the field. What separates this text from previous works is its' practical focus and accessibility, with questions for class and reflection at the end of each chapter and helpful examples from the world of sports. I recommend this book to athletes, coaches, professors, chaplains in sport, sports ministry personnel and ministers. * Anne Wafula Strike MBE, Paralympian, UK * There is no book on the market quite like Sport and Christianity. Accessible in its prose, wide-ranging in its coverage, and critically appreciative in its tone, this book is tailor-made for undergraduate classes and parish study groups analyzing one of the most important 'signs of the times' in the 21st century. The contributors include an impressively ecumenical range of the leading voices in the field of sport and theology. Intellectually probing yet eminently practical, Sport and Christianity is distinguished by its keen attention to the 'faith practices' that make sport such a formative dimension of modern life. Highly recommended. * J.J. Carney, Associate Professor of Theology, Creighton University, USA * Sport and Christianity opens up new perspectives on the spiritual dimensions of sports through a winning combination of sophisticated theological reflection and cutting-edge studies of lived religion. Hoven, Parker and Watson have devised an ingenious structure for exploring the intellectual, affective, and ethical facets of sports from a Christian standpoint. In assembling a collection that is interdisciplinary, ecumenical, historically well-informed, attentive to practice, and duly attentive to the darker aspects of sports, they have covered all of the bases and produced a comprehensive textbook. With its special focus on the theology of play and the role of sports in spiritual formation, the book is a boon for scholars, practitioners, and students alike. * William A. Barbieri Jr. Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America, USA * Drawing on theology, psychology, history, sociology, and philosophy to recognize sport's potential as an element of worship of God, while also acknowledging how sport can have negative consequences, the book adds to our understanding of the complex connection between sport and Christianity. The application of servant leadership, self-knowledge and the balance between healthy competition and envy to sport, as well as the analysis of how a theology of play might inform a theology of sport, are among the book's groundbreaking contributions. The book will be a classic for years to come. * J STUART WEIR, VERITE SPORT: INTERNATIONAL SPORTS MINISTRY, UK *