There has been a dramatic increase in academic research activity and practical initiatives on the topic of sports and Christianity, and its cultural significance during the past decade. The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St John University, York, UK, hosted the Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity (IGCSC), 24-28th August 2016 in collaboration with the Bible Society at which there were 180 delegates from 22 countries in attendance. For the area of sports studies/the social scientific study of sport, there was a thematic strand at the congress titled ‘Christian sociological perspectives on sport’ from which a special edition of the journal Sport in Society partially emanated. This book is based upon this journal special edition. The papers selected for inclusion in the special edition were purposely eclectic in order to demonstrate the diversity of current research occurring in the area of Christianity and social scientific perspectives on sport. The goal was to bridge divisions between various social science disciplines and theology or religious studies, through varied, novel and interesting explorations of sport in its various forms. We hope this collection inspires further studies into this area.The chapters in this book were originally published in a special issue in Sport in Society.
Table of Contents
1. Christianity and social scientific perspectives on sport: introduction to the special issue
Tom Gibbons and Stuart Braye
2. Christianity as public religion: a justification for using a Christian sociological approach for studying the social scientific aspects of sport
Tom Gibbons, Nick J. Watson and Mark Mierzwinski
3. Can sport be regarded as ‘cultural liturgy’? Recognizing the significance of the liturgical frame for the social scientific study of sport
4. Redeeming the habitus: a Christian sociological approach to embodiment in sport
Mike Tyler and Tom Gibbons
5. Tanni Grey-Thompson – ‘The one that got away’: a theological analysis of foeticide, infanticide and the deviant Paralympic success story
6. ‘Jesus Saves’ and ‘Clothed in Christ’: athletic religious apparel in the Christian CrossFit community
Alexander Darius Ornella
7. ‘We must not engage in the blind glorification of sport’: Christian orthodox youths negotiate dominant societal and alternative Reformed sport discourses
Froukje Smits, Annelies Knoppers and Corina van Doodewaard
8. Re-characterizing confidence because of religious and personal rituals in sport: findings from a qualitative study of 15 year old student-athletes
9. Single, separate or unified? Exploring Christian academicians’ views of the body, sport and religious experience
Tom Gibbons is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at Teesside University, UK, and has authored three books, including: English National Identity and Football Fan Culture: Who are you? (2014); The Impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (co-editor with Kevin Dixon, 2015); and, Sport and English National Identity in a ‘Disunited Kingdom’ (co-editor with Dominic Malcolm, 2017). Tom has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters on topics including disability and sport; national identity, globalisation and sport; religion and sport; and various sporting subcultures.
Stuart Braye is a Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at Teesside University, UK. He has a Master’s degree in Sport Management from Northumbria University, UK, and has submitted his PhD titled ‘A mockery of equality’: The relationship between the Paralympic Games and disability equality in the UK. He is a former Paralympic athlete and bronze medallist (Barcelona 1992) and currently has six journal articles and two book chapters on the relationship between Paralympic/disability sport and critical disability studies. His current research project is on the views of disabled children/young people and their parents on experiences in physical education.