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Friday, September 01, 2006

Rounding The Bases....

Yesterday, I received a wonderful book in the mail from the Editor of Mercer University Press, Marc Jolley, entitled "Rounding the Bases: Baseball and Religion in America" by Joseph L. Price. Without two good legs, I plan to spend my Labor Day weekend on the Lazy-Boy enjoying this fascinating new book.

Below is a description from Mercer University Press...

After identifying early conflicts between churches and baseball in the late-nineteenth century, Price examines the appropriation of baseball by the House of David, an early twentieth-century millennial Protestant community in southern Michigan. Turning then from historical intersections between baseball and religion, two chapters focus on the ways that baseball reflects religious myths. First, the omphalos myth about the origin and ordering of the world is reflected in the rituals and rules of the game. Then the myth of curses is explored in the culture of superstition that underlies the game.

At the heart of the book is a sustained argument about how baseball functions as an American civil religion, affirming and sanctifying American identity, especially during periods of national crises such as wars and terrorist attacks. Building on this analysis of baseball as an American civil religion, two chapters draw upon novels by W. P. Kinsella and David James Duncan to explore the sacramental potential of baseball and to align baseball with apocalyptic possibilities. The final chapter serves as a full confession, interpreting baseball affiliation stories as conversion narratives.

In various ways Rounding the Bases charts new territory in the literature about baseball and religion. Unlike previous works (such as The Faith of Fifty Million) that merely assert that baseball, as the national pastime, is an American civil religion, or others (such as And God Said, “Play Ball”) that draw parallels between the Bible and baseball, this book develops a sustained sociological argument for the conclusion that baseball is “a distinct denomination of American civil religion.”


Blogger Nathan Finn said...

Sounds like a good book. How do you think Georgia is going to do this fall?

6:54 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

The only downside of moving to Texas is missing UGA games. Last year, I still managed to attend 3 games and watched the remainder on a tv somewhere. Unfortunately, Fox Sports Southwest doesn't cover the SEC...unless UGA is on ESPN - I'll be forced to listen to Munson via the Georgia website.

However, this season could be rough. Tereshenski is not a proven QB and Matthew Stafford is not ready and will likely be redshirted. It could very well be Richt's worst year yet - rebuilding indeed.

Tennessee, Florida, and Tech will be much better. We play Spurrier on the road - they could very well beat us. With SC, Tennessee, Florida, Auburn, and Tech on the schedule - hopefully we'll find 3 wins but I'm not holding my breath.

Trying to get into Baylor football (which is hard - I'm used to rooting for winners). Baylor plays #22 TCU in Waco on Sunday afternoon! I was hopeing to experience the game in the handicap section via wheelchair but my dad has to preach Sunday evening. Last Sunday he won a 3-man race to become the new interim pastor of a country church outside of Waco (which is another story...)

Baylor vs. Northwestern St. on the 9th looks more promising...

9:42 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

After listening to the tail end of today's game, I was surprised that Richt played Stafford. So much for those who said he wasn't ready yet..

1:22 PM

Blogger Nathan Finn said...

Stafford could be a stud. But I still think this is a rebuilding year for us, and I would be very happy with an 7-4 record and a minor bowl game. It could be significantly worse once we start playing real teams ...

9:44 AM


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