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Contemporary American sport, muscular Christianity, Lance Armstrong, and religious experience

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Title: Contemporary American sport, muscular Christianity, Lance Armstrong, and religious experience
Author(s): Meyer, Andrew R.
Director of Research: Sydnor, Synthia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Sydnor, Synthia
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Littlefield, Melissa M.; Chodzko-Zajko, Wojtek; Stodolska, Monika; Reisner, Ann
Department / Program: Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline: Kinesiology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): contemporary American sport culture Lance Armstrong muscular Christianity religion radical orthodoxy sport media hero-role model
Abstract: This dissertation is an examination of muscular Christian themes in contemporary American sport culture and religious sensibilities. In this project I demonstrate that sport can be viewed in contemporary American culture operating as a culturally influential activity where athletes reproduce muscular Christian ideology in unique ways. To illustrate this thesis, I use American cyclist Lance Armstrong as a case study. This work displays how the media depicts particular muscular Christian themes through Lance Armstrong, which render his image in postmodern religious understandings. I have three main objectives in this dissertation: (1) to show that contemporary American sport continues to reflect particular muscular Christian ideals; (2) to demonstrate through cultural examples how Lance Armstrong reflects such values in his media characterizations; (3) examine Lance Armstrong’s commercial image through the scholarship of radical orthodoxy which I suggest offers insight on how contemporary American sport can function as a religious experience. With increasing evidence that there is a decline in traditional religious participation, radical orthodoxy scholarship is useful in understanding why individuals search for God in new cultural activities, filling the void of traditional religious experiences. The ultimate goal of this project is to illustrate a condition of contemporary American culture and gain insight into the epistemological operations of sport and its figures in this context.
Issue Date: 2010-05-19
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16089
Rights Information: Copyright 2010 Andrew R. Meyer
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-05-19
Date Deposited: May 2010
 

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