The Enduring Problem of Dualism: Christianity and Sports
Issue: Vol 15 No. 2 (2012)
Journal: Implicit Religion
Subject Areas: Religious Studies
Arguments on how religion interfaces with sports are not new, and in particular, sports activity itself has been characterized as religion, namely, “cultural,” “natural,” “civil,” and “folk.” In this article, I want to consider a recent proposal by Shirl Hoffman in Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sports. Hoffman attempts to reimagine how the Christian religion and sports should relate (on account of the problems of modern muscular Christianity), by justifying the sacredness of sports, in order to heal or put it back together; he appeals to sports intrinsic religious or hierarchical spiritual value. I will argue that, in his effort to redress the problems of modern muscular Christianity, Hoffman in the end falls prey to the same problem of dualism that has beset modern muscular Christianity. Specifically, dualism for Hoffman is both metaphysical and eschatological, both of which affect how he construes the human player and play itself.
Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sports by Shirl James Hoffman. 2010. Baylor University Press. 356pp., Pb. $29.95. ISBN-13: 9781932792102.
Author: John White
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