In celebrating the return of the UEFA European Championship 2016 in France this year- alongside the hotly anticipated England versus Wales match this afternoon- here at The Lutterworth Press we have sought to discover the problematic issues and theological discussions within the world of sport with Robert Ellis’ The Games People Play.
In exploring modern sport as a theologically-significant activity, The Games People Play reveals sport’s own quasi-religious aspects and its complex history with Christianity. The author delivers a strong narrative on issue such as gender, race, consumerism, and the role of the modern media, as well as highlighting the problems associated with excessive competition and performance-enhancing substances in British and American sporting world.
Alongside this, Ellis constructs a theology around the global cultural phenomenon of modern sport, paying particular attention to its British and American manifestations. Using historical narrative and social analysis to enter the debate on sport as religion, Ellis shows that modern sport may be said to have taken on some of the functions previously vested in organized religion. Through biblical and theological reaction, he presents a practical theology of sport’s appeal and value, with special attention to the theological concept of transcendence.
Likewise, in British Sport A Social History, Dennis Brailsford places sport within the wider context of British life, examining its social, political and economic implications.
We are able to delve into the roles and styles of play that have marked the varying stages of British social history are discussed, and their influence on our contemporary experience made clear. Significant changes in the total sporting picture are identified. Here, the reader is invited to participate by concentrating on how local experience, financial and international implications contribute to our national appreciation of the sporting panorama.
The illustrations in the book include many photographs of existing sporting landmarks of historical significance dating from the Middle Ages, signifying that the history of sport can be found in everyday scenes, such as public-house signs and street names. From the knightly sports of jousting and hunting to the role of the media in modern sport, this is a fascinating insight into our sporting past and present.
Make sure you don’t miss the match today at 2pm and, in the meantime, why not head to our website for more extracts, reviews and to obtain copies!