I am currently participating in the Third Annual Sport and Society Conference at the University of Cambridge, UK. I was impressed by the diversity of the participants (from Brazil, Canada, USA and Venezuela; from France, Germany and Spain; from China, Egypt, India, Sierra Leone, Taiwan, etc.) as well as by the diversity of the subjects: Physical education, Gender and Identity, Sports Management, Disability, etc. Academic researchers seem to be very much into sport!
For my part, I am presenting a paper entitled: « Play, Pray, Win… and, Lose! Does God prefer the Montreal Alouettes? ». Here is my abstract:
« In May 2011, I was told the Montreal Alouettes (the Montreal Canadian Football Team) had a chaplain. In July 2011, I began a field research inside the Montreal Alouettes in order to understand the place of Christian faith in this team. First, I interviewed reverend Tom Paul, the Alouettes chaplain. He presented to me the four Christian activities he holds for the Alouettes: a Chapel program each game day; a weekly Bible study, on a schedule depending on players availability; a Thanksgiving service at the Welcome Hall Mission; and some spiritual guidance on request. In fall 2011, I was allowed by the Alouettes to observe some Alouettes Christian activities: one Chapel, two Bible studies and the Thanksgiving service. In winter and spring 2012, I analysed the results of my observation, using the method of spiritual praxeology as developed at the Faculty of Theology and the Sciences of Religion of the University of Montreal. »
And here is a short excerpt from my conclusion:
« Alouettes Christian activities’ God is a father who loves his children, whatever they do for a living (playing football for the Alouettes included); Alouettes Christian activities’ God is a sovereign who can help people (football players included) to do their best, even more than they think they can do; Alouettes Christian activities’ God is a demanding God who likes to be asked and to be thanked.
According to Alouettes Christian activities, biblical heroes are role models for contemporary Christians. According to Alouettes Christian activities, Christian life is a fight against human natural tendencies. And, according to Alouettes Christian activities, the most important in Christian life is preparing to live death with God. »