Fight Sports and the Church

Boxing and Martial Arts Ministries in America

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SKU: 9781476673875 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

Fighting sports and church may seem an unusual combination yet modern ministries have embraced them as means for evangelism and social outreach. While news media often sensationalize fighting sports ministries, churches see them as a way to appeal to male congregants, presenting a peace-loving yet tough model of discipleship—an image reflected in popular culture. From martial arts programs at suburban churches to urban boxing ministries geared towards at-risk youth, this book examines the substantial history of church sponsored combat sports, and presents arguments by Christian ethicists about whether and how they are compatible with church teachings and settings. Interviews with boxing and martial arts ministry leaders describe their programs and the relationship between fight sports and faith.

About the Author(s)

Richard Wolff is an associate professor of communication at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he advises the boxing club.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Wolff
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7387-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4213-0
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“Richard Wolff’s book is a swift kick to reductionist accounts of fight sports. Wolff’s nuanced and sympathetic narrative situates boxing and mixed martial arts in the context of broad debates about sport and religion. This volume will be fascinating to scholars, participants, and fans who want to engage the theological, ethical, and cultural issues connected to fight sports.”—Jon Pahl, professor of the History of Christianity, United Lutheran Seminary.