“Grandstanding Jesus: Sports and American Christianity” Series

Join us at 7 p.m. on the following evenings in May for our series, “Grandstanding Jesus: Sports and American Christianity” at the Rattlesnake Bar and Grill with the presentations beginning at 7:30 p.m.  We’ll see you there!

In this series we explore a variety of themes in the wide (and unexpected) world of sports and Christianity in the United States.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

“Turn the Other Cheek vs. Here Comes the Boom! Boxing in Christian Imagination”

Boxing Fights

The Rev’d Eric Hillegas
Priest in Charge, St. Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church, Quincy, MA

Join Rev. Hillegas as he explores boxing from from athletic, cultural, and theological perspectives. His discussion will survey a range of stories that offer popular perceptions of the “sweet science”, from the inspirational Rocky Balboa to the darkly disturbing Fight Club. Rev. Hillegas will address the power and the perils of pugilism, inviting listeners to understand boxing as a spectacle, a saga, and a sacrament. Is boxing actually a means of grace? Let’s get ready to rumble!

Eric graduated from the University of Notre Dame and worked in various professional fields before his 2008 Ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of MA. In college Eric represented the Fighting Irish as co-captain of the Notre Dame Boxing Club, winning the University championship in his weight division in 1995. Eric believes that boxing has not only made him a better reader of St. Paul but also a better follower of Jesus. He currently “steps into the ring” every Sunday as the Priest in Charge at St. Chrysostom’s in Quincy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

“Touchdown Jesus: The Cultural Collision between Christianity and Football”


Mr. Michael Saur
Parishioner at the Church of the Advent, Boston, MA

Mr. Saur will provide a survey of the interaction between two sacred American institutions: football and the Church.  He will focus on the evangelization of players and leagues, the public Christianity of notable players, the use of football to market Christianity, and, conversely, the use of Christianity to market football.  He will also discuss the meaning of football in a society where it is has increasingly taken on the trappings of a religion as the line between Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon has become increasingly blurred.

Mr. Saur is a parishioner at the Church of the Advent in Boston.  He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Tulane University School of Law.  As the Advent’s resident Milwaukee expat, he is a devoted fan of the Green Bay Packers and University of Wisconsin Badgers.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

“From Fandom to Faith: A Sports Pilgrimage”


Dr. Christopher Evans
Professor of the History of Christianity, Boston University School of Theology

This lecture explores the interconnection between our love of sports and our own faith journeys.  As a professor, scholar, and sports fan, I take seriously the ways that sports define meaning for us and help shape our faith journeys.  Above all else, the lecture points out that a love of sports (and in my case, my love of the Red Sox), like our love of faith, requires a graceful combination of earnest reverence, contemplation, critical thinking, and, most of all, a love of play.

Christopher Evans is Professor of the History of Christianity at Boston University School of Theology.  Prior to his appointment at BU, he was the Sallie Knowles Crozer Professor of Church History at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York.  He is the author/co-author of several books including, The Faith of Fifty Million: Baseball, Religion, and American Culture, The Kingdom is Always but Coming: a Life of Walter Rauschenbusch, and Liberalism without Illusions: Renewing an American Christian Tradition.  His most recent book, Histories of American Christianity will be published by Baylor University Press this summer.  An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Evans has served in a variety of parish settings, including most recently as a parish associate at Christ Episcopal Church in Pittsford, New York.

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