Sports are seldom considered through the lens of religion, despite the religious fervour of fans. Theologian Lincoln Harvey can offer a different perspective for your news outlet’s World Cup coverage.
As the tournament kicks off this week, Harvey will be cheering for England with the rest of the country. His book, “A Brief Theology of Sport,” published in March, grew out of his own desire to understand his love of football within a Christian context. The theology hinges on competition, and the dance between winners and losers, one linked to created human life and the other to the nothingness from which it came. (Though both teams are necessary in the dance, Harvey rather prefers that England’s opponents face the abyss of nothingness.) It touches on the essence of freedom and human identity, which is the basis of our resentment when politics or commercialism impinge on the purity of sport.
A taste of Harvey’s insights can be found in his BBC 2 interview, at the 39 minute mark. More information on his book is available at SCM Press.
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