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ERIC Number: ED123213
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Nov-14
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Athletae Dei: Missing the Meaning of Sport.
Hoffman, Shirl J.
By making virtue of ascesis or self-discipline in their sport, the athlete evangelists (the "athletae-Dei"), unwittingly rob sport of its fundamental theological significance. These proponents of an evangelical brand of protestant theology have shifted drastically from an anti-sport stance of a century ago to a position that not only embraces sport but seeks to harness it for evangelistic purposes. The "athletae-Dei" use the popularity gained through athletics to propogate a theology. They have integrated their theology with their sport, thus resulting in unique motives for competing, for winning, and for training. In spite of the fact that the "athletae-Dei" place a premium on all-out effort, they overtly deemphasize winning. Training the athlete in the "athletae-Dei" manner requires an ascesis that is ordered to bring about victory on the athletic field; yet within the context of his/her spiritual calling. Athletic training is also a discipline imposed by the will of God for spiritual ends. Emerging almost contemporaneously with the sport evangelism movement has been a fascination by certain theologians in a play theology. It is an attempt to illuminate the meaning of play through an application of theology. In their earnestness, the "athletae-Dei" fail to see sport as a revelation of the joyous nature of an existence secure in God and at the same time, a demonstration of the sediment of insufficiency and the transitory quality of life that comes with a realization of the true boundaries of an earthly existence. (Author/SK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A