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Christianity, boxing and mixed martial arts : reflections on morality, vocation, and well-being

Watson, Nick J. and Brock, Brian (2015) Christianity, boxing and mixed martial arts : reflections on morality, vocation, and well-being. Journal of religion and society, 17.

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Abstract

This essay provides a theological analysis of two violent combat sports, boxing and mixed
martial arts (MMA, also known as cage fighting). The titles of the biographies of a number
of well-known professional Christian boxers, such as God in My Corner (Foreman) and
Humble Warrior (Holyfield) and the fact that “roughly 700 churches in the United States have
begun incorporating MMA into their ministry in some capacity” (Borer and Schafer: 167)
raises a host of ethical quandaries and seeming paradoxes for the theologian. However, aside
from a handful of essays in popular literature, there is to our knowledge very little academic
theological reflection on boxing and MMA. After giving a brief history of boxing and MMA,
the essay provides a theological ethical critique and assessment, providing suggestions as to
how Christians and churches should think about these activities and how they can advise
others.
Key Words: boxing, mixed martial arts, Christianity, morality, well-being

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
School/Department: School of Sport
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/887

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