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No Sport For Old Men

No Sport For Old Men

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
The Super Bowl continues to be one of the most visible and influential cultural events in the United States. For that very reason, it always warrants a closer look. This year was no exception, but what the look reveals is unexpected. Two years ago, the big story was not about the game, but rather about the advertising. The family of Tim Tebow was alleged to be involved in an anti-abortion advertisement that would suggest that they had considered aborting Tebow, in order to put a face on the loss of potential represented by abortion. The ad proved to be pretty benign, but the controversy lingered. The whole debate was shot through with religion.

Religion Lately: Uller Fest, Atheist Religion , & Tim Tebow, Harbinger of Doom?

Religion Lately: Uller Fest, Atheist Religion , & Tim Tebow, Harbinger of Doom?

By Kenny Smith, Emory University….
In Breckenridge, CO., the town council passed a resolution allowing public consumption of alcoholic beverages for “Uller Fest,” a day-long celebration, complete with a bonfire, dedicated to Uller, the Norse god of snow. Despite the positive effects of popular TV series such as Big Love, the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon,” Jon Huntsman’s and Mitt Romney’s presidential bids, and a national public relations campaign, concerns have grown among Mormons about those who grow up and leave the church, as well as the inability to control information about LDS history (e.g., that Joseph Smith was a polygamist and defended this practice as divinely mandated). Mormons make up approximately 2% of the American population and nearly half feel that they are discriminated against on religious grounds, though are nonetheless optimistic about their future.

Religion Lately: Rise of the New Evangelicals, Star Seed Possibilities, Perfect End-Times Beverage, & The Roof-Top Sex-Preacher

Religion Lately: Rise of the New Evangelicals, Star Seed Possibilities, Perfect End-Times Beverage, & The Roof-Top Sex-Preacher

By Kenny Smith, Emory University….
Imagine Evangelical Christians who reject militarism, consumerism, and cultural triumphalism, in favor of social justice, environmentalism, and religious reconciliation with other faiths. They might represent the coming norm. If so, will these new Evangelicals distance themselves from religion? The future may be a ways off yet, as recent studies of American ministers note one major area of disagreement prevails: not creationism, nor the belief in the literal truth of the Bible, but whether or not the earth is 6,000 years old.

The Super Bowl As Epic

The Super Bowl As Epic

By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
No, this year the story really was in the game. That seems relevant to anyone interested in the curious and complex trajectories of the sacred in contemporary American culture. As Gary Laderman has argued, in his book Sacred Matters, professional sports, to the degree that they contribute to our contemporary cult of celebrity, are bearers of profound spiritual resonance. But they are also highly complex choreographed events, what the student of religion is trained to see as ritual.