Football As Religion | Pele as God

by , under Resources, Theology

I’ve been asked to contribute to what might be best described as a theological dictionary of culture – coming out sometime at the end of the year I think – and one of the entries I’ve take on is football, through the lens of perhaps its greatest player, Pele. Nice to be able to pass of watching this World Cup as research.

There are of course some wonderful parallels between football and religion, and I hope to be able to bounce off some of these: the fervoured congregations, the rules and rituals, the tribes, the high-priests, the pain, the exhilaration, the loyalty… Someone explain to me why football isn’t a fully recognised religion?!

It’s England v Germany on Sunday, so this weekend with either be like Christmas or Good Friday…


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  1. Dyfed

    You forgot that miracles happen in the grounds during a match. I was at a Colwyn Bay match (north Wales) some years ago and noticed that an elderly man was in the crowd in his wheelchair. Looking palid and frail, he cheered his team on as best he could. The Bay weren’t doing well that day and the old gent was struggling. But suddenly, out of nowhere, they scored – and on his feet he jumped, cheering wildly!

    A miracle, I tell you, right before my eyes!