PHIL 226
Big Games: The Spiritual Significance of Sports Fall 2009
Division II
Cross-listed REL 279 / PHIL 226
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Sports matter beyond all apparent reason. They are children’s games, yet grip adults. They serve as entertainment, yet are taken most seriously. They demand physical excellence, yet drive athletes to injury and spectators to become obese. The significance of contemporary sports is thus unquestionable, but it is also unexplained. Diversion and fitness alone cannot begin to account for the extraordinary amounts of time, money, and emotion invested in the playing, watching, and analysis of sports.
This course will attempt to comprehend the significance of sports by attending to their role as a source of three distinctive forms of “spiritual” experience: patriotism, beauty, and divinity. We will consider the extent to which the fundamental elements of contemporary sports (games, athletes, equipment, arenas, fans, and media) can be interpreted as together comprising a complex phenomenon that provides opportunities for all participants to share in these experiences. Throughout we will investigate actual examples, taken from particular sports, chosen for their ability to illuminate different aspects of spiritual experience.
The Class: Format: lecture twice per week; scheduled discussion groups once per week
Limit: 100
Expected: 80-100
Class#: 1037
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: quizzes, short writing assignments, a final exam
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
REL 279 Division II PHIL 226 Division II
Attributes: REL Comparative Inquiry Courses

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