Redeeming the Habitus: A Christian Sociological Approach to Embodiment in Sport

Mike Tyler, Tom Gibbons

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The human body is of central concern in both the sociology of sport and in Christianity. This paper seeks to respond to exclusively secular explanations of embodiment, which are insufficient for explaining the role and significance of religion in society broadly, and in sport particularly. Affirming an explicitly Christian understanding of the body, the paper shows how the Bourdieusian framing of embodiment - habitus - is amenable to the incorporation of the historic theological uses of the habitus concept. It will be argued that there is no need to jettison either this theological groundwork, or the theoretical insights of sociology in making sense of embodied persons in sport. Instead a more rounded conceptual tool will be produced. Finally, in conclusion, some thoughts will be offered as to the future application of this ‘redeemed’ habitus in the sociological study of sport and religion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-251
JournalSport in Society
Issue number2
Early online date9 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019


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