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Sporting Space, Sacred Space: A Theology of Sporting Place

Regent’s Park College and the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford, Regent’s Park College, Pusey Street, Oxford OX1 2LB, UK
Religions 2019, 10(8), 473;
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport, Spirituality, and Religion: New Intersections)
Religion often designates locations that are considered sacred, marked off from ordinary space. Sporting venues also take on a significance for players and supporters that is seldom adequately explained in solely sporting terms. Can theological understandings of place illuminate the way in which players and spectators relate to the ‘sacred space’ of their sporting endeavors? In this paper, I explore and assess the theological and religious significance of sporting space by reflecting upon descriptions of both religious and sporting special places. I use a range of types of descriptions of experiences of such spaces together with theological ideas and concepts, including Christian notions of incarnation, sacrament, and Trinity, which are found to be useful resources, undermining a strict binary of ‘sacred’ and ‘profane’ space. I then build upon previous theological and empirical work with sports participants to explore a theological understanding of special sporting places and the experiences of those who play and support sporting endeavors in them. View Full-Text
Keywords: place; sacred space; religion and sport; theology and sport; sacrament place; sacred space; religion and sport; theology and sport; sacrament
MDPI and ACS Style

Ellis, R. Sporting Space, Sacred Space: A Theology of Sporting Place. Religions 2019, 10, 473.

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