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Christianity, Identity, and Professional Football

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Change log

Authors

Daniels, Graham 

Abstract

jats:pEmpirical research on the lives of Christian elite athletes has focused primarily on their appropriation of faith-based behaviours and practices, and the ways in which their value and belief systems impact their performance. While these accounts provide useful insight into personal experience and practical application, they are largely devoid of theological underpinnings. Drawing on the findings of a small-scale qualitative study of the faith journeys of 15 ex-professional footballers, this paper seeks to present a theologically informed understanding of identity formation within elite sport. We begin by problematising the disjuncture between theocentric and anthropocentric approaches to the ways in which the specific identities of Christian elite athletes are often formed. We then explore the key issues that shaped the contours of the respondents’ experiences as they sought to negotiate their faith amidst the harsh realities of professional footballing life. The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of appropriate support networks to identity formation in Christian elite athletes.</jats:p>

Description

Peer reviewed: True


Publication status: Published

Keywords

5005 Theology, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies

Journal Title

Religions

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2077-1444
2077-1444

Volume Title

14

Publisher

MDPI AG