Let the Games Begin!

Olympic History, from A to Zeus

We trace the religious history of the Olympic Games, from festivals to honor Zeus, all the way up to the ‘Nazi Olympics’ and the inclusion of female athletes from conservative Muslim countries. (We’re looking at you Saudi Arabia.)  With David Goldblatt, sports writer and university lecturer at Bristol University, author of The Games: A Global History of the Olympics.

Baptized in the Sea-Spriritual Surfing

In a soundscape of surf, sand and spirituality, Father Christian Mondor, Franciscan priest in Huntington Beach, Southern California recounts how he began riding waves at age 70. In water, he finds a metaphor for the holy trinity. And in the surf, he finds a kind of baptism.  Read Fr. Mondor’s entry in the Surfing Walk of Fame! 

Meet the Orthodox CrossFit Rabbi

Rabbi Moshe Gray of Dartmouth College tells us why he thinks CrossFit, practiced with purpose, can be spiritually uplifting, and why many religious leaders seem to let fitness slip by the wayside. In the end, Gray says, there’s no excuse for neglecting physical health as we nurture our spiritual lives.  Follow Rabbi Gray and his CrossFit progress on Instagram!

Under the Halo of the Hoop

Onaje Woodbine is philosophy and religious studies teacher at Phillips Academy and author of Black Gods of the Asphalt: Religion, Hip-Hop, and Street Basketball.  Onaje grew up playing basketball on the streets, and found a ritual of transcendence there. He explains how basketball plays a religious and healing role for many young black men with little access to conventional forms of community support.

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