Call for Proposals

Spirit of Sports

2015 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture
Thursday, November 5-Saturday, November 7

The love of play and the desire for competition are woven deeply into human experience. From vacant lots-turned-playing fields to modern stadiums, from pick-up games to professional leagues, from Olympic record seeking to fantasy-league deal making, sports have become a defining feature of our culture.

Sports provide us with heroes and villains, role models, platforms for social commentary, and even pulpits for evangelism. Sports cut across social barriers, uniting people from diverse ethnic, financial, and religious backgrounds. Sports also reveal the best and worst of who we can become. Through sports we can develop self-discipline and virtues of character like courage, perseverance, and honesty, or we can cultivate baser human traits like vainglory, greed, and the desire to dominate at all costs.

The 2015 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, The Spirit of Sports, invites participants to explore, from the perspective of religious faith, the significance of sports in our lives, especially the ways that contemporary sports both support and compromise the cultivation of human excellence and our relationships with others and God.

We seek reflection from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives. Presentation proposals are welcome from athletes, coaches, and chaplains as well as scholars in human performance, philosophy, theology, biblical studies, political science, business, sociology, literature, the arts, psychology, and cross-disciplinary programs.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Youth sports as formation
  • Higher education and athletics
  • Psychology of sport
  • Leisure as Christian practice
  • The influence of Title IX
  • Family and sports
  • Sports as evangelism
  • Self-identity and fans
  • Race and gender in sports
  • Social justice and sports
  • History of faith and sport
  • Disability and play
  • Economics, justice, and sports
  • Hunting and the natural world
  • Sports in literature and art

Proposals for individual papers, panel discussions, and responses to current books are welcome. Abstracts of no more than 750 words should be submitted by July 31, 2015 using the online form. Call 254-710-4805 or e-mail for more information.

The proposal submission deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest in the conference - follow the IFL on Twitter for periodic updates and announcements.