Game Day and God: Football, Faith and Politics in the American South

Overview

Game Day and God: Football, Faith, and Politics in the American South takes seriously the often-stated assertion that college football in the South is a religion. To this end, Eric Bain-Selbo draws upon a wide range of theoretical approaches in religious studies and cultural criticism. He also relies upon field research on several campuses in the Southeastern Conference where he interviewed fans and experienced "game day." Consequently, the author is able to make the case that college football does function ...

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Overview

Game Day and God: Football, Faith, and Politics in the American South takes seriously the often-stated assertion that college football in the South is a religion. To this end, Eric Bain-Selbo draws upon a wide range of theoretical approaches in religious studies and cultural criticism. He also relies upon field research on several campuses in the Southeastern Conference where he interviewed fans and experienced "game day." Consequently, the author is able to make the case that college football does function religiously for many people in the South. In addition, the author introduces key concepts and theories of religion and culture to a general audience.

Game Day and God also recounts the role that college football has played in Southern history and culture. Going back as far as the Civil War, the work explains the cultural meaning of college football in the South, delivering a much-needed critical perspective to the subject.

Scholars of religion will find the work a compelling extension of key concepts and theories to an otherwise "secular" activity. Scholars of American culture and sports will find the work to be an interesting case study, one that-unlike much work in the area-focuses our attention on the religious dimension of the phenomenon of sport in American culture. And general readers will find that college football or any sport can be much more than they imagined as well as discover important theories with which to make sense of the complexity of our daily lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881461558
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Foreword x

New Preface xiii

1 Bulldogs, and Marches, and Bear! Oh, My!: The Morphology of the Sacred in College Football in the South 1

2 You and 100,000 of Your Closest Friends: The Social Function of College Football 27

3 Ritualized Violence: From Religion to Sport to Football 53

4 Ecstasy, Joy, and Sorrow: The Experience of Southern College Football 69

5 From Lost Cause to Third-and-Long: College Football and the Civil Religion of the South 86

6 Marx Is in the House! Football as the Opiate of the Southern Masses and Other Political Musings 174

Conclusion. Sport as Religion?: A Summary and Final Assessment 213

Appendix 241

Bibliography 243

Index 251

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 7, 2011

    It's not just a game...

    It took me a while to get through this book, but it was well worth it. "Game Day and God" is a careful examination of college football's role as a secular religion in the South, as well as the sport's place in the history and politics of the region. With anecdotes and countless references to support his beliefs, Bain-Selbo makes his case well and in an entertaining fashion. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but if you're interested in religion, politics, history, and football, it's a treat to have all of them brought together in a single book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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