Christianity, Race, and Sport  book cover
1st Edition

Christianity, Race, and Sport

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 16, 2021
ISBN 9780367313302
May 16, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
168 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides a rigorously researched introduction to the relationship between Christianity, race, and sport in the United States. Christianity, Race, and Sport examines how Protestant Christianity and race have interacted, often to the detriment of black bodies, throughout the sporting world over the last century. Important sporting figures and case studies discussed include:

  • The sanctification of baseball player Jackie Robinson
  • The domestication of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman
  • Religious expressions of athletes in the NFL
  • Treatment of African American tennis player Serena Williams
  • Colin Kaepernick and his prophetic voice.

This accessible and conversational book is essential reading for undergraduate students approaching religion and race or religion and sport for the first time as well as those working within the sociology of sport, sport studies, history of sport, or philosophy of sport.

Table of Contents

  1. The Sanctification of Jackie Robinson
  2. The Domestication of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman
  3. Pray the White Way: Religious Expression in the NFL in Black and White
  4. Dabo Swinney, Universal Whiteness, and a "Sin Problem"
  5. Serena Williams and Her Two "Gods"
  6. The Black Prophetic Fire of Colin Kaepernick

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Jeffrey Scholes is associate professor of religious studies in the Department of Philosophy and the Director of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA.


"Christianity, Race, and Sport is an outstanding interdisciplinary work that is written in an insightful and fearless manner. Across each chapter, Scholes writes with truth, vigilance and a sense of urgency when it comes to  addressing the hypersensitive subject matter contained in the book. The content will capture the interest and prophetic imagination of both those in the professorate and students in sport and religion courses globally."

Steven N. Waller, University of Tennessee, USA.

"Timely, relevant, and provocative, Jeffery Scholes offers a compelling analysis of an American sporting landscape that has been indelibly shaped by the intermingling social forces of Christianity and race. While drawing a keen focus on familiar sports figues from Jackie Robinson to Colin Kaepernick, Scholes also shines new light on the unique challenges faced by these athletes as well as on their lasting contributions to athletics and society. Put simply, this is essential reading for anyone interested in a fuller understanding of the interplay of religion, sports, and race in the American past and present."

Arthur Remillard, Saint Francis University, USA.