Soccer, Eschatology And The Kingdom – A Theological reading of 2018 FIFA World Cup | 6/17/2018 | Staff
tanikaki (Posted by) Level 3
The 2018 FIFA World Cup officially kicked off on Thursday with host nation Russia beating Saudi Arabia five goals to none. The tournament involves 32 national teams, which include 31 teams determined through qualifying competitions and the automatically qualified host team. Iceland and Panama will both be making their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final will take place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Putting together soccer and theology may at first appear superficial or even sacrilegious. And this possibly irreconcilable and asymmetrical polarity could be better described – paraphrasing Tertullian’s well-known aphorism – “What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”, by also asking what is the rationale for bringing together “Soccer and Theology?”, or even “Thinking and Play?”. In order to justify this atypical theological enterprise, perhaps I should quote Johan Huizinga’s provocative thesis on the “homo ludens”. According to him the deepest essence and vocation of a free humankind is best expressed in “Play”. Or Jürgen Moltmann’s sophisticated thesis of the primordial aesthetic vocation of human beings (“Die Ersten Freigelassenen der Schöpfung”/“Theology of Play”). My motivation is more modest and circumstantial. I’m a Peruvian theologian from Lima, who happens to teach theology in Florence Italy, and ritualistically plays a cathartic soccer game every Sunday. So consequently I intensively debated with my conscience – this clear sky summer afternoon – whether go to a plenary session of the 4th International Bible Conference on Eschatology, hosted in Rome, or stay home to watch the inaugural match of the 2018 World Cup on TV.

Soccer - Sports - People - Distracters - Order

Soccer and sports in general, many people argue, are fanciful and sophisticated distracters in order to avoid paying attention to what really matters in life. Simon...
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