Hockey as Religion. The Montreal Canadiens
Champaign, Common Ground (Sport and Society), 2011, 84 p.
ISBN : 978-1-86335-930-6
Sport is all about play and game, aesthetic and strength, passion and emotion, challenge and rivalry. But because sometimes players and fans look for a little extra help from God, gods, spirits or any other Supreme Being, sport is also a matter of beliefs and Faith. Often, sport uses religion if the sport itself does not become a religion first.
In Montreal, the fans’ passion and emotion benefits the Montreal Canadiens, the oldest and the most victorious National Hockey League team.
Since 2008, the Protestant Theologian Olivier Bauer, a former hockey goaltender, is carefully studying the religious aspects of the Montreal Canadiens. In his book, Olivier Bauer reveals how the Montreal Canadiens becomes a religion, specifies which kind of religion it is, and explains how it is interrelated with Quebec’s Catholicism. From a theological point of view, he analyses two ways of practicing the Montreal Canadiens Religion, shows why both ways are idolatry, denounces the weakness of such a religion, and pleads for an evangelical use of the Montreal Canadiens.
Based on the Montreal Canadiens, Olivier Bauer explains how sport becomes a religion, but he also critics the religion that sport offers.