The Faith Of 50 Million

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The Faith of 50 Million features essays by religion scholars who analyze the relationship between baseball and theology in American culture. Topics include the sense of national identity, baseball and civil religion, "saints and sinners," baseball and the American Dream with regard to racial integration, women and baseball, baseball as metaphor, and baseball as spiritual autobiography. Readers will love this fascinating intersection of baseball, race, American civil religion, and contemporary sports culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The religion scholars in this intriguing collection view baseball as a civil religion that can tell us much about American character and attitudes. Although more of us probably watch the Superbowl than any baseball event, baseball, with its historic claims and ties, is still regarded by many as the national pastime. Evans and Herzog, both professors at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY, present ten essays on a wide range of topics, from the racial integration of the sport to the role of women and baseball. The authors, including Stanley Hauerwas (theological ethics, Duke Univ. Divinity Sch.), Christopher H. Evans (church history, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity Sch.), and Tracy J. Trothen (ethics and pastoral theology, Univ. of Winnipeg), are especially adept at examining how baseball has always been susceptible to gambling and corruption. Although written from a Protestant religious background, this unusual anthology will appeal to readers of various faiths and is best suited for libraries with comprehensive religion or sports holdings. Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664223052
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: More than a Game: The Faith of Fifty Million 1
Pt. I Baseball and American Religion: The Theological Quest for a National Identity
Ch. 1 Baseball as Civil Religion: The Genesis of an American Creation Story 13
Ch. 2 The Kingdom of Baseball in America: The Chronicle of an American Theology 35
Pt. II Saints and Sinners
Ch. 3 "Matty" and "Ol' Pete": Divergent American Heroes 51
Ch. 4 The World of Spirit or the World of Sport? Figuring the Numbers in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea 83
Ch. 5 From Scapegoat to Icon: The Strange Journey of Shoeless Joe Jackson 97
Pt. III Baseball and the Search for "The American Dream"
Ch. 6 Baseball's Surprising Moral Example: Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson, and the Racial Integration of America 145
Ch. 7 A Diamond Is Forever? Women, Baseball, and a Pitch for a Radically Inclusive Community 167
Pt. IV The Lure of the Elysian Fields
Ch. 8 The Coming of Elijah: Baseball as Metaphor 187
Ch. 9 Baseball: A Spiritual Reminiscence 205
Conclusion: The Faith of Fifty Million: A Kingdom on Earth? 215
Endnotes 223
Selected Bibliography 257
Contributors 263
Permissions Acknowledgments 265
Index of Names 267
Index of Subjects 271
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