Take Me Out to the Ball Game—but Stay 6 Feet Away: Baseball and Theologies of Nation, Recovery and Resistance
The unprecedented suspension of professional sports in response to COVID-19 highlights the role of this dimension of popular culture in our daily lives. Tied to the identities of individuals, communities and even nations, our sports, and the rituals that surround them, are also the stuff of theology. At the same time, fans tend to like their sports the way they prefer their religion — free of politics. When it comes to baseball, the connections to USA national identity are as old as the professionalization of the sport. What might the stories, practices, and liturgies of baseball and béisbol reveal about theologies of nation, recovery, and resistance that continue to play out today on contested fields?
Resources from the lecture:
“¿Dios Bendiga Whose América? Resisting the Ritual Theologizing of Nation,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, Vol. 21 no.3 (2020), https://repository.usfca.edu/jhlt/vol22/iss1/5/
“The politics of baseball, from Fenway Park to the South Lawn,” Theology en la Plaza, National Catholic Reporter, 14 May 2019, https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/theology-en-la-plaza/politics-baseball-fenway-park-south-lawn.
“Play ball? Like Easter, interruptions to daily rhythms are sometimes needed,” Theology en la Plaza, National
Catholic Reporter (April 6, 20018), https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/theology-en-la-plaza/play-ball-easter-interruptions-daily-rhythms-are-sometimes-needed.
“Ordinary Theologies, Extraordinary Circumstances: Baseball at the Intersections of Faith and Popular Culture.” In Recovering 9/11 in New York, Robert Fanuzzi and Michael Wolfe, editors. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014, 68-87.
“Signs of the Times: Not Just a Game,” New Theology Review 24:3 (2011), 73-75.