Sport, religious belief, and religious diversity

Randolph Feezell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this paper I examine some issues raised by conspicuous displays of religiosity in sports. In particular, important questions have been occasioned by the relatively recent pronouncements and behavior of a celebrated evangelical Christian athlete in American professional football. I explain reasons why some find such conspicuous piety worrisome. I raise concerns related to the nature of sport, consistency, divisiveness, trivialization, and religious diversity. After discussing objections to exclusivist forms of religion, especially theistic religions, I focus on how religious beliefs should be held. I present what I call the Basic Argument from Religious Disagreement, whose conclusion claims that religious beliefs ought to be held fallibly, rather than confidently or with certainty. Fallible religious belief has important and valuable consequences, overall and in the specific context of sports. Celebrated athletes have strong reasons to hold religious beliefs fallibly and, if they claim to be role models, they may have epistemic responsibilities as well as moral responsibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-162
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of the Philosophy of Sport
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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