Theology, Ethics and Transcendence in Sports: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Theology, Ethics and Transcendence in Sports

1st Edition

Edited by Jim Parry, Mark Nesti, Nick Watson


244 pages

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This book provides an inter-disciplinary examination of the relationship between sport, spirituality and religion. It covers a wide-range of topics, such as prayer and sport, religious and spiritual perspectives on athletic identity and ‘flow’ in sport, theological analysis of genetic performance enhancement technologies, sectarianism in Scottish football, a spiritual understanding of sport psychology consultancy in English premiership soccer and how Zen may be useful in sports performance and participation. As modern sport is often intertwined with commercial and political agendas, this book also provides an important corrective to the “win at all costs” culture of modern sport, which cannot always be fully understood through secular ethical inquiry. This is a unique and important addition to the current literature for a wide-range of fields including theology and religious studies, psychology, health studies, ethics and sports studies.


"The cumulative effect of these pages suggests, for theologians and scholars of religion, the promise of what might be called a “sport hermeneutic” with which to reengage various scriptural and theological traditions, and contributes, for those working in the field of sport, to the emergence of a post-positivist paradigm that seeks to transcend materialistic and naturalistic presuppositions in the analysis of sport." - Religious Studies Review

Table of Contents

Foreword Professor Robert J. Higgs. Introduction Nick Watson Section 1: Theological Ethics in Sport Section 1 Introduction Jim Parry 1. An Augustinian Critique of Our Relationship to Sport Mark Hamilton 2. Prayers Out of Bounds Shirl Hoffmann 3. Better Than Normal? Constructing Modified Athletes and a Relational Theological Ethic Tracy J. Trothen 4. Living in a Sectarian Maelstrom: A Christian Professional Football Player’s Perspective Ian Lawrence. Section 2: Psychological and Spiritual Dimensions of Sport Section 2 Introduction Mark Nesti 5. Identity in Sport: A Psychological and Theological Analysis Nick Watson 6. Sport Psychology and Spirit in Professional Football Mark Nesti 7. Flow, Sport and the Spiritual Life Patrick Kelly, S.J. Section 3: Transcendence in Movement, Play and Sport Section 3 Introduction Jim Parry 8. Why Dichotomies Make it Difficult to See Play and Games as Gifts of God Scott Kretchmar 9. The Energy of Play Susan Saint Sing 10. Zen, Movement and Sports: Focussing on the Quality of Experiencing Irena Martínková and Jim Parry 11. Pilgrimage as a Form of Physical and Movement Spirituality Ivo Jirásek

About the Editors

Nick Watson is senior lecturer in Sport Psychology and Sociology; Founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Sport and Spirituality, York St John University; and co-author of the book Sport and Spirituality: An Introduction (2007, Routledge).

Jim Parry is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Leeds University. He is the co-author of The Olympic Games Explained and co-editor of Ethics and Sport (both published by Routledge).

Mark Stephen Nesti, Reader in Sport Psychology, York St John University, England, is an applied sports psychologist currently working at Premiership football club, Newcastle United, and the author of the pioneering text, Existential Psychology in Sport: Theory and Applications (2004).

About the Series

Routledge Research in Sport, Culture and Society

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports