1st Edition

Global Perspectives on Sports and Christianity

Edited By Afe Adogame, Nick J. Watson, Andrew Parker Copyright 2018
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    While the relationship between sport and religion is deeply rooted in history, it continues to play a profound role in shaping modern-day societies. This edited collection provides an inter-disciplinary exploration of this relationship from a global perspective, making a major contribution to the religious, social scientific and theological study of sport.

    It discusses the dialectical interplay between sport and Christianity across diverse cultures, extending beyond a Western perspective to include studies from Africa, South America and Asia, as well as Europe, the UK and the US. Containing contributions from leading experts within the field, it reflects on key topics including race, gender, spirituality, morality, interfaith sport clubs, and the significance of sport in public rituals of celebration and mourning. Its chapters also examine violent sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts, as well as reflecting on the cult of sporting celebrity and the theology of disability sport.

    Truly international in scope, Global Perspectives on Sports and Christianity is fascinating reading for all those interested in the study of sport, sociology and religion.


    [Robert Ellis]


    [Afe Adogame, Nick J. Watson and Andrew Parker]

    Part I: Some Transdisciplinary Considerations

    1. Challenging the Secular Bias in the Sociology of Sport: Scratching the Surface of Christian Approaches to Sociology

    [Tom Gibbons]

    2. Sports in the Biblical Narrative

    [Jeremy Treat]

    Part II: Non-Western Perspectives on Sport and Christianity

    3. Interreligious Football: Christianity, African Tradition and the Religion of Football in South Africa

    [David Chidester]

    4. Soccer Fandom as Catechism: Practices of the Sacred among Young Men in Argentina

    [Eloisa Martin]

    5. Soccer Victory Authorized by the Gods: Prophecy, Popular Memory and the Peculiarities of Place

    [Olutayo Adesina]

    6. The Church and FIFA World Cup in Ghana: A Gender Perspective

    [Rose Mary Amenga-Etego]

    7. Religion and Sport in Multireligious Nigeria: The Case of Kaduna City Interfaith Football Club

    [Corey Williams]

    8. Spirituality and Martial Arts: ‘Fitting’ in the Life-World

    [Jonathan Tuckett]

    9. Playing and Praying in the Premiership: Public Display of Beliefs in English Football

    [Abel Ugba]

    Part III: Western Perspectives on Sport and Christianity

    10. Sport, Society, Religion and the Church of Scotland

    [Grant Jarvie]

    11. Protestantism and Sport in the "Bible Belt" of Norway in the First Half of the 20th Century

    [Nils Martinius Justvik]

    12. Sport, Celebrity and Religion: Christianity, Morality and the Tebow Phenomenon

    [Andrew Parker and Nick Watson]

    13. Church, Sports and Tragedy: Religion and Rituals of Public Mourning in the Glasgow Ibrox Disasters of 1902 and 1971

    [James Deming]

    14. Sport and Christianity in American Cinema: ‘the beloved grew fat and kicked’ (Deuteronomy 32:15)

    [Seán Crosson]

    15. Christianity, Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts: Reflections on Morality, Vocation and Well-Being

    [Nick Watson and Brian Brock]

    16. Hillsborough and the Church of England

    [James Jones]


    Afe Adogame is the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Christianity and Society at Princeton Theological Seminary, USA

    Nick J. Watson is Associate Professor of Sport and Social Justice in the School of Sport at York St John University, UK

    Andrew Parker is Professor of Sport and Christian Outreach and Co-director (with Nick Watson) of the Centre for Sport, Spirituality and Religion (CSSR) in the School of Sport and Exercise at the University of Gloucestershire, UK

    "The book is a welcome contribution to the literature on sport and Christianity. The wide range of topics covered means that there is something for everyone which an interest in the general subject in the book." - Jonathan Edwards, Verite Sport