Discussion: The Church of Sport

Required Readings
Kurtz, L. R. (2016). Gods in the global village: The world’s religions in sociological perspective (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Chapter 5, “The Religious Ethos”“Religion and Politics” (pp. 198­–210)
Chapter 6, “Modernism and Multiculturalism”“The Modernist Crisis and the 21st Century” (pp. 227–250)
Walden University Library. (2015). Ask a librarian. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library/ask
Required Media
USC ORL. (Producer). (2013, December 2). Are sports a religion? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp_NFGE7qzA

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Note: The approximate length of this video is 79 minutes.
World Rugby. (Producer). (2015, September 20). The history behind the all blacks intimidating haka war dance [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Bcr2fP1Dt4

Note: The approximate length of this video is 2 minutes.
Discussion: The Church of Sport
In many societies, the devotion, rituals, and attendant institutions that surround popular sports can seem like a religion in itself. Think about the sport that is most popular where you live. How is participation in the sport organized? Are there professional leagues? A national team? How do participants of or fans of the sport differentiate themselves?
To prepare for this Discussion:

Watch both videos found in this week’s Learning Resources.
Identify the sport in your area that is the most culturally dominant.
Think back to your study of religious rituals, beliefs, and institutions in previous weeks.
Reflect on the rituals, beliefs, and institutions of sports fans and culturally significant sports leagues.

By Day 3
Submit a 3- to 5-paragraph Discussion post assessing whether the dominant sport in your area might be considered “religious” based on the criteria of rituals, beliefs, and institutions. In what way do sports and religion converge? In what ways do they differ?

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