Annie Blazer (PhD ’09) is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the College of William and Mary. Her new book, Playing for God: Evangelical Women and the Unintended Consequences of Sports Ministry (New York University Press, 2015), offers an exploration of the history and religious lives of Christian athletes, showing that evangelical engagement with popular culture can carry unintended consequences.
When sport became an avenue for embodied worship, it forced a reckoning with evangelical teachings about the body. Female Christian athletes increasingly turned to their own bodies to understand their religious identity, and in so doing, came to question evangelical mainstays on gender and sexuality. What was once a male-dominated masculinist project of sports engagement became a female-dominated movement that challenged evangelical ideas on femininity, marriage hierarchy, and the sinfulness of homosexuality. Though evangelicalism has not changed sporting culture, for those involved in sports ministry, sport has changed evangelicalism.
Congratulations Annie!Posted in Alumni News on December 10, 2014. Bookmark the permalink.