Like religion, playing and watching sports is a deeply meaningful, celebratory ritual enjoyed by millions across the world. The first scholarly work designed for use in both religion and sports courses, this collection develops and then applies a theoretically grounded approach to studying sports engagement globally and its relationship to modern-day issues of violence, difference, social protest, and belonging. Case studies explore the place of sports in mainstream faiths, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity, and lesser-known religious groups, particularly in Africa. It covers football, baseball, and basketball but also archery, soccer, bullfighting, judo, and track. Essays reflect all skill levels, from amateur to professional, and find surprising affinities among practices and cultures in locations as disparate as Germany and Japan, Spain and Saudi Arabia. Thoroughly examining a range of phenomena, this collection fully captures the unique overlap of two universal institutions and their interplay with human society, politics, and culture.
"Since 2000, Religion and Popular Culture in America has been one [of the] standard books used in teaching this area of study. Modestly updated in 2005, it continues to be taught in colleges, universities and theological schools across the continent. The basic four-part structure of Religion and Popular Culture in America remains sound and is a feature that appeals to many who have taught the volume. Section One, Religion in Popular Culture, examines the way traditional religious symbols, narratives, and forms of religious practice appear in popular culture. Section Two, Popular Culture in Religion, considers how religion takes on and is reshaped by styles and values of popular culture. Section Three, Popular Culture as Religion, explores the ways that aspects of popular culture and their reception might be considered to be forms of religion. Section Four, Religion and Popular Culture in Dialogue, introduces religiously based critiques of popular culture and ways that popular culture articulates common critiques of religion. The third edition maintains the structure and basic length of the current edition and retains Forbes' introductory framework and update versions of key essay. But they replace many of the more dated subjects with new material drawing on more contemporary examples. A concluding essay by Mahan organizes key insights from the essays and relates them to the theories of popular culture illuminated in the introduction"--Provided by publisher.