A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Lord of Living and Dead


‘Is sport the new salvation?’ is a variation on the frequently asked ‘Is sport the new religion?’ The popularity and prevalence of sport in contemporary society is clearly perceived in the amount of time and space spent watching and commenting on sporting activity and adulation. Fans, whether actually at games, matches and races or following on a multiplicity of media platforms, are a vital part of the sporting experience(s) and, in business terms, a very valuable one. As a ‘sign of the times’ sport in its many strata calls for ethical and spiritual discernment. Moreover, the language of salvation/redemption has become a staple of much sports coverage and commentary. Success in sport is often seen and stated in terms of salvation with individuals, especially in the context of team games, identified as ‘saviours/redeemers’. However, one person’s or team’s sporting redemption results in another’s ruin and while failure may spur one on to greater effort and even victory in the end the cycle of losing is an inevitable part of competition. Ultimately the cycle of life and death, the contest of good and evil constrains and consumes both the victorious and  vanquished in sport.