With Super Bowl XLVIII upon us, Chris Beneke, associate professor of history at Bentley University, teams up with Arthur Remillard, associate professor of religious studies at Saint Francis University, to ponder what's more important in modern society, religion or sports. They write at the Washington Post:
American sports fans have forged imperishable bonds with the people, places and moments that define their teams. You might even call this attachment religious.But that would be unfair — to sports.
While teams and fans are building powerful, cohesive communities — think Red Sox Nation or the legions of Alabamans who greet one another with “Roll Tide” — churches are losing followers. According to a 2012 survey by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and Duke University, 20 percent of Americans “claimed they had no religious preference,” compared with an unaffiliated population of 8 percent in 1990. Roughly two out of three Americans, a 2012 Pew report noted, are under the impression that religion is losing influence in the country.
Sports are on the opposite trajectory.
Read full post here. What do you think?