Disability as a Path to Spiritual Enlightenment: An Ethnographic Account of the Significance of Religion in Paralympic Sport

Howe, P. David and Parker, Andrew (2014) Disability as a Path to Spiritual Enlightenment: An Ethnographic Account of the Significance of Religion in Paralympic Sport. In: Sports, Religion and Disability. Routledge, London, pp. 26-41. ISBN 978-0415714150

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Abstract

This article explores the importance of spirituality amidst the culture that surrounds high performance athletes who have acquired impairments. In so doing, it highlights the way in which spirituality and religion may be used as a vehicle for dealing with issues of re-embodiment and how this might impact long-term athlete well-being. Featuring ethnographic data collected over the course of a number of Paralympic Games, the essay explores the act of re-embodiment and how being “re-born” in line with various religious frameworks is something to which elite athletes with a disability may turn in order to make sense of their place in the world. Drawing on literature from the field of religious studies as well as a critical theorization of disability, the essay sheds light on the relationship between sport and religion using the “imperfect” bodies of Paralympians as a catalyst to explore the importance and meaning of spirituality in the everyday existence of sportspeople with disabilities.

Item Type: Book Section
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sport, disability, religion, spirituality, ethnography, Paralympians.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Sport & Exercise > Coaching, Physical Education and Development
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2015 14:30
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2016 07:30
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2407

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