This ground-breaking book provides a fascinating insight into the relationship between sports (and leisure), religion and disability. In the shadow of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, at which athletes that were both able-bodied and disabled, provided an extravaganza of sporting excellence and drama, this text is a timely and important synthesis of ideas that have emerged in two previously distinct areas of research: (i) ‘disability sport’ and (ii) the ‘theology of disability’. Many of the elite athletes at this global sporting mega-event often explicitly displayed their religious beliefs, and in turn their importance in the context of sport, by observing different religious rituals, and or, utilising the multi-faith sports chaplaincy service. This raises a whole range of unanswered questions with regard to the intersections between sports, religion and disability, which to-date has been under- researched. Examples of subjects addressed in this text include: elite physical disability sport--Paralympics; intellectual disability sport--Special Olympics; reflections on the illness narrative of the cyclist Lance Armstrong through the lens of the theology of ‘radical orthodoxy’; the application of biblical athletic metaphors in understanding modern conceptions of disability sport; the role of sport and spirituality in the rehabilitation of injured British Military personnel, and; the importance of sports and leisure in L’Arche communities. This book begins a critical conversation on these topics, and many others, for both researchers and practitioners.
This book was based on two special issues of the Journal of Religion, Disability and Health.