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Sport, Celebrity and Religion: Christianity, Morality and the Tebow Phenomenon

Parker, Andrew and Watson, Nick J. (2015) Sport, Celebrity and Religion: Christianity, Morality and the Tebow Phenomenon. Studies in World Christianity, 21 (3). pp. 223-238.

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Abstract

Sporting celebrities are rarely discussed within the broader realms of theological debate. Yet that is not to say that their identities cannot offer insight into wider patterns of cultural influence. Indeed, it is our contention within this paper that the reverse is true; that analyses of the autobiographical details of contemporary sporting figures represent key sites through which cultural influence can be examined. To this end, we take one sporting icon of recent times, American Football (NFL) star Tim Tebow and assess his popular cultural image in terms of its contribution to debates surrounding identity, Christianity and morality. Our central thesis is that whilst Tebow's popular cultural image affords all the hallmarks of modern-day ‘platform ministry’, his articulation of particular norms and values raises questions about the kinds of moral responsibilities high-profile Christian athletes have in relation to their expressions of faith.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press.
Status: Published
DOI: 10.3366/swc.2015.0125
School/Department: School of Sport
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/1096

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