Sport, Youth And Religion

Authored by: Kristin Walseth

Routledge Handbook of Youth Sport

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415840033
eBook ISBN: 9780203795002
Adobe ISBN: 9781134469932


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A chapter such as this cannot cover all religions and their attitudes to sports. Neither is it possible to cover all the national examples of religious organizations offering sports to youth. Because it is impossible to be representative of all of them, I have chosen to focus on Christianity and Islam because these are the religions most studied by scholars linking youth, sport and religion. Because most of the research focusing on sports is from western countries (Europe, North America, Oceania), there is a clear bias in the chapter. The chapter will be structured around a focus on Christianity and sport followed by Islam and sport. These sections will focus on the understanding of physical activity and sports in the two religions, followed by a description of Christian and Muslim organizations offering sports to youth and, finally, on how Christian and Muslim athletes manage their religious identity within the sport context. A distinction is drawn between Christianity and Islam as religions (official Christianity/Islam) and belief in Christianity/Islam as a manifestation of religiosity (unofficial Christianity/Islam) (Kamrava, 2006).

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