Posts Tagged ‘fascination’

Awe and Wonder: Whither Theological Education?

Friday, April 4th, 2014 by Nimi Wariboko

aweAn important dimension of any religion is the feelings of awe that arise with encounters with the holy and the beautiful. Otto Rudolf in his 1917 book, The Idea of the Holy, argues that the experience of the numinous, the sacred, the holy is the ineffable core of religion. When persons encounter and experience the sacred they develop a sense of dependency on something objective, external, and greater than them. The experience of the numinous takes two related forms: (a) terrifying experience of the “wholly other,” and (b) fascination. Where can we encounter these experiences? Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Competition? The Religiosity of Sport’s Entertainment

Monday, June 14th, 2010 by Wolfgang Vondey

Sports and athletic games have always been accompanied by the aura of the religious.  The Olympic games, for example, whether they originated with the wrestling of the deities of the sky with the gods of the earth, or with Herakles who instituted the first games in honor of Zeus, or King Iphitos of Elis, who restored the games following the advice of the Delphic Oracle,[1]they were in one way or another an expression of the human admiration of the gods.  Hence, the Pythian games were held in honor of Apollo, the Isthmian games for Poseidon, and the Nemean games, like the Olympic games, in honor of Zeus.  As Judith Swaddling observed, “The god was believed to bestow on the athletes the physical prowess which enabled them to take part in the Games.  Accordingly, the athletes prayed to the deity and promised offerings should they be victorious.”[2]  The spirit of the ancient Games was truly captured by the original Greek word “enthusiasm” – literally meaning “being-in-god” or “possessed by a god.” This religious aura has remained in today’s spectator sports. However, it is far less visible. Thus disguised, modern athletic games have taken on new religious power–one that stands in marked contrast to the fascination of the Christian life. Read the rest of this entry »