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Playing with God: Religion and Modern Sport [Hardcover]

By William J. Baker (Author)
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Item Number 153484  
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Item description for Playing with God: Religion and Modern Sport by William J. Baker...

The spectacle of modern sport displays all the latest commercial and technological innovations, yet age-old religious concerns still thrive at the stadium. Coaches lead pre-game and post-game prayers, athletes give God the credit for home runs and touchdowns, and fans wave signs with biblical quotations and allusions. Like no other nation on earth, Americans eagerly blend their religion and sports. "Playing with God" traces this dynamic relationship from the Puritan condemnation of games as sinful in the seventeenth century to the near deification of athletic contests in our own day.

Early religious opposition to competitive sport focused on the immoderate enthusiasm of players and spectators, the betting on scores, and the preference for playing field over church on Sunday. Disapproval gradually gave way to acceptance when "wholesome recreation" for young men in crowded cities and soldiers in faraway fields became a national priority. Protestants led in the readjustment of attitudes toward sport; Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims followed. The Irish at Notre Dame, outstanding Jews in baseball, Black Muslims in the boxing ring, and born-again athletes at Liberty University represent the numerous negotiations and compromises producing the unique American mixture of religion and sport.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Playing with God: Religion and Modern Sport by William J. Baker has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christianity Today - 02/01/2010 page 60
  • Booklist - 02/01/2007 page 9
  • Library Journal - 05/01/2007 page 83
  • Christian Century - 01/15/2008 page 44

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Harvard University Press
Pages   322
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2007
Publisher   Harvard University Press
ISBN  0674024214  
ISBN13  9780674024212  

Availability  6 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 08:42.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Commerce GA.
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > 20th Century > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History
4Books > Subjects > Sports > General
5Books > Subjects > Sports > Miscellaneous > History of Sports

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Reviews - What do customers think about Playing with God: Religion and Modern Sport?

A must read for every Coach and Local Pastor  Jul 26, 2009
The author does outstanding research on the history of sports and how it has been interwoven within the structure of religion. I read every word. As a retired minister and pastoral counselor I was astonished as to how much sports and religion are competitive yet are parallel and both are interwoven into our modern faith and belief systems. I have a son who is an Offensive Coordinator in a local high school and I give it to him for his birthday. It's a great gift. I recommended it last Christmas to a friend to give to their father who enjoys sports and has everything. I also recommended it to my attorney to give to his law partner.

A great book thank you "Billy"


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