WES 100: Sports & Religion: Schedule of Readings & Assignments

August 29: Course introductions, expectations

Getting Started

September 3-5: Methods for Interpretation

VIEW (in-class): Nine Innings from Ground Zero (2004)

READ:

Russell McCutcheon, “What is the Academic Study of Religion?” (from author’s professional Web page)

Andrew Mullen, “Are Video Games a Sport?” (from Marlin Chronicle, 2013)

Clifford Geertz, “Religion as a Cultural System” (from The Interpretation of Cultures, 1973)

[(by October 24): Phil Jackson, Sacred Hoops (entire)]

Locating Sport in U.S. Religious History

September 10-12: The Protestant Model

READ:

William J. Baker, Playing for God, pages 1-63;

Ruth Moon, “Pastors Blame Kids’ Sports for Attendance Dips” (from Christianity Today, 2013)

DUE (on September 10): Film Response #1 (on Nine Innings from Ground Zero)

September 17-19: Sport in the Protestant Model

READ:

William J. Baker, Playing for God, pages 64-107;

Sean O’Neil, “Tim Tebow, Protestant Saint: When the Myth Fits…” (from Religion Dispatches, 2011);

Angela Denker, “Colin Kaepernick and the Powerful, Religious Act of Kneeling” (from Washington Post, 2017);

Philip Pullella, “Vatican to Field Cricket Team, Take on Anglican Church” (from Reuters, 2013);

[(by October 24): Phil Jackson, Sacred Hoops (entire)]

VIEW (by September 19): Chariots of Fire (1981)

Acculturation & Americanization

September 24-26: Non-Protestants in America

READ:

William J. Baker, Playing for God, pages 218-239;

Alan Baldwin, “International Basketball Rule Change Allows Players to Wear Religious Headgear” (from Religion News Service, 2017)

Chuck Bennett, “Devotion Wins Out” (from New York Post, 2013)

Michael Leahy, “Should American Catholics Cheer for Old Notre Dame?” (From Washington Post, 2013).

DUE (on September 24): Film Response #2 (on Chariots of Fire)

VIEW (by September 24): Rudy (1993)

October 1: NO CLASS (Rosh HaShanah)

READ:

[(by October 24): Phil Jackson, Sacred Hoops (entire)]

Transformations

October 3-10: The Religion of Sport

READ:

William J. Baker, Playing for God, pages 129-217;

Jeffrey Scholes, “Sport“(from The Routledge Companion of Religion & Popular Culture, ed. John Lydon and Eric Michael Mazur, 2014);

Vernon L. Andrews, “Rituals of the African American Domus: Church, Community, Sport, and Lebron James” (from God in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture, 2nd edn., ed. Eric Michael Mazur and Kate McCarthy, 2011);

Michael Serazio, “Just How Much is Sports Fandom Like Religion?” (from Atlantic, 2013)

DUE (on October 3): Film Response #3 (on Rudy)

VIEW (by October 3): The Natural (1984)

October 15: NO CLASS (Fall Break)

READ:

[(by October 24): Phil Jackson, Sacred Hoops (entire)]

October 17-24: Nationalism & Internationalism

READ (by October 17):

McClymond, “Of Fists and Feathers” (from Ritual Gone Wrong)

William J. Baker, Playing for God, pages 108-128;

DUE (on October 17): Film Response #4 (on The Natural)

VIEW (by October 17): Miracle (2004)

READ (by October 24):

Phil Jackson, Sacred Hoops (entire)

DUE (by October 24): “Applications Project” topic

October 29-31: Research Methods

DUE (on October 29): Film Response #5 (on Miracle)

November 5-7: Sacred Space & Time

READ (by November 5):

Mircea Eliade, chapters 1-2 (from The Sacred and the Profane, 1957)

VIEW (by November 5): Field of Dreams (1989)

November 12-14: Sport, Religion, & Ethics

READ:

William J. Baker, Playing for God, pages 240-262;

Bron Taylor, “Surfing into Spirituality and a New, Aquatic Nature Religion” (from the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2007) 

DUE (on November 12): Film Response #6 (on Field of Dreams)

VIEW (by November 12): Tin Cup (1996)

November 19: Paper Mechanics

DUE: “Applications Project” paper draft

The Home “Stretch”?

November 21-26: Non-Protestant Models

DUE (on November 21): Film Response #7 (on Tin Cup)

VIEW (by November 21): The Legend of Bagger Vance (2001)

November 28: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)

December 3: NO CLASS (Port Day)

December 5-10: “Applications Project” Presentations

DUE (on December 5): Film Response #8 (on The Legend of Bagger Vance)

December 12 (8:30 a.m.):

DUE: Final “Applications Project” papers