From Season To Season / Edition 1

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In From Season to Season: Sports as American Religion, nine scholars of religion and theology explore the relationship between religion and sports in American popular culture and the role of sports as religion.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Contending that athletics boasts many of the trappings of religion stadiums are sacred spaces, sporting events are rituals and so forth nine scholars apply sophisticated religious-studies theory to sports. The essays are uniformly disappointing, producing no new insights about either church pews or baseball diamonds. James A. Mathisen splits academic hairs when he argues that sport is best understood not as a civil religion (as many scholars have claimed) but as a folk religion. Lois Daly draws an unconvincing, obscure parallel between Indiana coach Bob Knight and a Benedictine abbot. Tom Faulkner's essay on ice hockey starts with a clever and promising title ("A Puckish Reflection on Religion in Canada") but goes downhill from there. He suggests that the "hockey priesthood['s]" apparel is best understood as vestments: "not simply... on-ice uniforms, but... the widespread use of jackets and blazers off the ice." Faulkner also notes that hockey players are "in some radical sense... `called out' of the everyday world." Hence hockey can be "understood... as a religion." By this logic, practicing law and working in Hollywood are religions, too. As the work of people like Robert Higgs makes clear, creative scholars can draw interesting connections between sports and religion, but those connections are nowhere evident in the pages of this book. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865549616
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 1,009,048
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : fervent faith : sports as religion in America 3
From Sabbath proscriptions to super Sunday celebrations : sports and religion in America 15
God and games in modern culture 39
From season to season : the rhythmic and religious significance of American sports seasons 49
The Pitcher's mound as cosmic mountain : the religious significance of baseball 61
The fetish and McGwire's balls 77
Every religion needs a martyr : the role of Matty, Gehrig, and Clemente in the national faith 99
Through the eyes of Mircea Eliade : United States football as a religious rite de passage 115
The Super Bowl as religious festival 137
American sport as folk religion : examining a test of its strength 141
Basketball's abbot : Bob Knight and the drive for perfection 163
The final four as final judgment : the religious and cultural significance of the NCAA basketball championship 171
A Puckish reflection on religion in Canada 185
Myth and ritual in professional wrestling 203
Conclusion : an American apotheosis : sports as popular religion 215
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