Paper topic: Using the concepts and categories of this class, reflect on your own experiences of sacred places in sports. Explicitly explain how and why these places are sacred so as to reveal the religious dimensions of sports. You will be graded on the degree to which you integrate your own cases with the theoretical perspectives of the History of Religions and Indigenous religious traditions.
Being an athlete has taught me many things about discipline, respect, and perseverance, characteristics that I also feel are learned through religion. A sport that I heavily participated in my life that I feel reflect a sacred place in sport is track and field where I specialized in the 400m and the 400m hurdles. Track and field is a collection of some of the oldest sports that have been competed in our human history and I personally find that sprinting or running is the rawest form of sport. The only objective of a sprint is to come first or go as fast as you can and the only thing that is stopping you form going faster is your ability and the natural forces around you. When comparing sacredness to sport, I find it clearest when one can strip away of variables and look at it with simplicity. The place I found sacred in sport was the track; it represented hard work, sweat, blood, tears, but also great joy, nervousness, and accomplishment. Through the readings and personal experience, religion is a tool or sanctuary for all emotions. Humanity has found a place in their heart to both thank and grieve our own religions during accomplishments and disasters. In my experience, the track was this place, it was where all my practices were held and it was where I found doubt in myself to reach the goals I had planned. Hours were spent on this track struggling to find what I thought was a tangible thing that would help me become faster. When race day came around and I succeeded my goal, I realized what I was looking for wasn’t anything tangible, it wasn’t any gains in my...
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