Religion, State, and Soccer in Israel

Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem

by Shalom Goldman, Duke University Throughout the world sports fans can be roused to emotional extremes of enthusiasm, euphoria, and despair that seem almost religious in nature. The only other public manifestation of emotion that comes close to sports in its intensity is at rock and roll concerts—and these concerts are increasingly held in sports stadiums. Also, more and more American sports greats are willing and eager to speak publicly about their Evangelical Christian commitments. These p … [Read more...]

God Speed: “Race Cars for Peace” in the Holy City

Formula One Scuderia Ferrari team driver Giancarlo Fisichella drives a Ferrari F60 past The Tower of David and the ancient walls of Jerusalem's Old City, during the second day of the Jerusalem Formula Peace Road Show

By Shalom Goldman, Duke UniversityIn the US, spectator sports and religious conviction often go hand in hand. Americans are used to players, and teams, who pray and play, invoking Jesus before, during, and after games. This happens on the basketball court, in baseball stadiums, and on football fields. And it is most notable on stock car racetracks, where prayers, along with game results, are often heard over the public address  systems. The tone and style of this sports religiosity is that of … [Read more...]


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