The body, religion and sports: through the lenses of postmodern religiosity


  • Mikael Lindfelt Åbo Akademi University


Religious change, Secularization (Sociology), Sports, Health, Contentment, Beauty culture, Body, Human, Identity, Self-actualization, Everyday life, World view, Physical fitness, Athletes, Secularism, Postsecularism, Implicit religion


In is necessary to look more closely at the newly developed understanding of religion and secularization in in the new fluid role it has for many people today, and that religion is seen is part of a need to build up an individual, identity-based narrative. From this perspective it is interesting to note that both the characteristics of postmodern religiosity and the ideology of the modern sports movement point in the same direction: sport can function as a religious sentiment. Both have a seriousness that can be classified as religious, at least in a functional way, towards health, well-being, self-perfection, strength, vitality and beauty—goals which modern society offers as something attainable by all. In the midst of this secularized, this-worldly, immanent and attainable religion stands the notion of the perfect body, the symbol for both control and beauty, for well-being and power of will. The struggle for bodily perfection is, no doubt, an adventurism in itself. While striving at perfection the awareness of imperfection is constantly at hand.



How to Cite

Lindfelt, M. (2011). The body, religion and sports: through the lenses of postmodern religiosity. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 23, 286–308.