This comprehensive volume explores the interface between sport and religion, or more broadly, sport and spirituality. While most of the contributions come from Western and Christian traditions, the volume raises broader questions about the kinds of impact that spirituality can and should have on sport, and equally, that sport can and should have on spirituality. The authors put forth an anti-dualistic message, one that argues against any vision of sport and religion existing in separate domains. Mind interpenetrates body, faith and love interpenetrate competition, spirituality and the Divine can interpenetrate secular games. This positive book has powerful implications for reforming contemporary sport, particularly crass, extrinsically-driven, win-at-all-cost versions of competition. It is a book about the incarnation, the paradoxical existence of the spirit in the flesh, love in competition, the myth-making power and meaning of games to engage the world, transcendent hope found in kicking a ball around, and how sport as a liturgy can mediate divine presence.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Sport, Ethics and Philosophy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Sport and Spirituality Scott Kretchmar and John White
2. Hope & Kinesiology: The Hopelessness of Health-Centered Kinesiology Gregg Twietmeyer
3. Sport for the Sake of the Soul Michael W. Austin
4. Christian Instrumentality of Sport as a Possible Source of Goodness for Atheists Ivo Jirásek
5. Love Your Opponent as Yourself: A Christian Ethic for Sport Shawn Graves
6. Chesterton on Play, Work, Paradox, and Christian Orthodoxy Scott Kretchmar and Nick J. Watson
7. Game Spirituality: How Games Tell Us More than We Might Think Chad Carlson
8. Sacramentally Imagining Sports as a Form of Worship: Reappraising Sport as a Gesture of God John Bentley White
Scott Kretchmar is Professor Emeritus of Exercise and Sport Science at Penn State University, USA. He is a founding member of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport, served as its President, and received its Distinguished Scholar Award on two occasions. He has published over 85 refereed articles, 35 book chapters, and 5 books. He is a Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology and, in retirement, is working as a lay pastor for the Presbyterian Church, in America.
John Bentley White is the Harold and Dottie Riley Professor in Practical Theology and Faculty Director of the Sports Chaplaincy/Ministry Program and the Faith and Sport Institute (funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc.) at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, USA. He has edited and/or published a range of scholarly articles and books on theology, ethics, religion and sport including: Sports and Violence (2017); God, Nimrod, and the World (2017); and Sports Chaplaincy (2016).