NEWS: Sport and Spirituality

discus_thrower_copenhagenStuart Weir’s recent article in The Times explores the issue of religion and sport, asking if the two are fundamentally incompatible. If one was to take Vince Lombardi’s assertion that “[w]inning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing,” it would appear that there is no room for love, spirituality or faith. However, in his text Weir focuses on Christianity and the Ten Commandments, particularly ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself,’ in an attempt to understand how a Christian can be a successful competitor.

In order to understand how this dilemma can be resolved, Weir looks at the personal experiences of Christian athletes such as Eric Liddell and Nancy Richey. The results appear to suggest that Christian athletes see their talents as God given, and therefore, the very act of competing as a way of worshipping God. Although, this may well be the case, it would seem that to combine spirituality and sport is not easy, but ‘with integrity and with a desire to make the competition fair’ Stuart Weir believes it is possible.

Spirituality and the Body in Late Modernity
By Agata Dziuban
(Vol. 2, June 2007)
Religion Compass

Sports and Religion
By Tara Magdalinski
From the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology

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