Deep in the Heart of Texas

This blog will be quiet through the weekend while I attend The Spirit of Sports, the 2015 Symposium on Faith and Culture at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. I’ll be presenting a paper tomorrow afternoon on “Anabaptist Visions of Sport” — see a preview here — and then enjoying panels and addresses featuring everyone from philosopher Jamie Smith to historian Randall Balmer, ESPN analyst Chris Broussard to Baylor president Ken Starr.

If you need a fix during this brief hiatus, let me suggest that you…

1. Follow me on Twitter

As usual at such conferences, I’ll plan to live-tweet many sessions. You can follow me @cgehrz and at the hashtag #SpiritofSports.

2. Read some of my previous posts on sports

It’s not a central theme of this blog, but I have written a few dozen posts on baseball, football, and other sports. For example:

Football at Christian Colleges and Universities (9/18/2015)

“…I think it’s an open question whether avowedly Christian institutions ought to be participating in a brand of football that risks dehumanizing or debasing those who participate in it — or tempts institutions to compromise their convictions for the sake of competitive success.”

Replacing the NFL: A Thought Experiment (with Chris Moore and Sam Mulberry) (9/27/2012)

“…let’s have some fun with the idea that the NFL has a ten-year problem and conduct a thought-experiment: It is the year 2022 and the NFL, for a variety of reasons, has ceased to exist. What is now America’s favorite sport?”

A Grand Experiment: Why Sports Belongs in Higher Education (7/24/2012)

“…athletics is home to another experience that’s too rare in higher education: failure. As we professors profess ourselves helpless to stop inflating grades and deem satisfactory what’s unsatisfactory, sporting competition — whether against other athletes or the limits of one’s body and preparation — teaches the brutally honest lesson that you will fail. Probably more so than other students, undergraduate athletes are cognizant of their own strengths and weaknesses (and, to get back to point one, why they then depend on others to succeed).”

The Cold War Continues… in Sports (6/14/2012)

“The Hungarian team were in transit to Australia as the Soviet invasion transpired, and only realized the extent of the violence after arriving. They decided take out their country’s frustrations on the Soviet team, not only playing physically but turning one element of Soviet imperialism against their rivals…”

Beyond Muscular Christianity (9/14/2011)

“The muscular Christians constantly walked a fine line: they sought to cultivate virtue, but not so much that being virtuous would sound, well, virginal.”

3. Take a moment to nominate The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education for an InterVarsity Press Readers’ Choice Award

You have until Sunday!

4. Enjoy some of my favorite songwriters and bands from Texas


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