To What Extent Is Sport Like Religion

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This essay will discuss the extent of religion being like sport. The main argument will be towards sport being like religion. Extracts from the following books have been used to gather information for this essay; Coakley (1998), Coakley and Pike (2009), Overman 1997, Rojek (1995), Weber (1976) and Hoffman (1992).

In the 17th century Weber (1976) came up with a theory linking Protestant religion and modern capitalistic values. Overman then used Weber’s theory to write about the puritans and their relationship to sport. “Puritans emphasised mind over emotion and revealed a profound fear of sensual pleasures and extravagant spontaneous activities such as play and dance were especially feared” (Overman 1997). Puritans was the name given to the English Calvinists. The Puritans attempted to purify the English church. Puritans believed the following characteristics were the ones they would live by; Self-control, hard work, modesty and thrift. Surprisingly they morally condemn luxury and idleness (Overman 1997). “Waste of time is the first and in principle the deadliest of sins. The span of human life is infinitely short and precious. Loss of time through sociability, idle talk, luxury, even more sleep than is necessary for health, six to eight hours, is worthy of absolute moral condemnation” (Rojek 1995 p.46) They believed they could secure themselves a place in heaven by following these characteristics, which they believe glorifies God. The puritans migrated to New England and took their religious ideas and values, which they used to shape Americas moral and cultural framework. As asceticism grew, the protestant society became less moralistic and more rational. “Rationalisation refers to the process in which human action became increasingly subject to calculation, measurement, standardization, and control” (Overman 1997). As society was changing, peoples values were also changing, this helped to develop society further, and...
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