Well Played (Paperback)
Should we allow performance-enhancing substances in competitive athletics? The first book of its kind, Well Played answers this question by urging us to a deeper appreciation for the purpose of sport. Giving special reference to performance-enhancing substances, Shafer challenges the incompleteness of the ethical arguments and contributes a Christian voice to the discussion. He initiates a theological conversation that is both scholarly and accessible, arguing that a distinctively Christian understanding of sport will have far-reaching implications for how we treat ethical issues like doping. The values, beliefs, and practices within the Christian tradition show an alternative that prioritizes humility and friendship, grace and gratitude over the ""win at all costs"" mentality that drives the use of performance-enhancing substances for a competitive advantage. This groundbreaking book ventures into new theological territory as it explores the intersections of theology, philosophy of sport, and the ethics of doping. Theologians, ethicists, and pastors, as well as coaches, athletes, and sports fans will benefit from this book's thoughtful reflection on how Christians can play well in the modern sports culture. ""Ethical violations--especially in professional athletics--have made many of us cynical about the possibility of preserving the morality of sport. Well Played is a refreshing reminder that sport can be an expression of human dignity and the love of the game, rather than a vicious arena for personal aggrandizement. Michael Shafer is to be commended for bringing theological categories to bear on the nature of sport in a readable, helpful, and interesting way. This makes him the MVP of sport ethicists "" --C. Ben Mitchell, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee ""Shafer--rightly dissatisfied with current debates about doping in sport--shows that to have a better discussion, we need to understand the nature of sport as a practice. He develops an original theological account that critiques doping but also raises bigger and more challenging questions. I hope his book will persuade theologians to take sport more seriously, and those involved in sport that theology has something important to say about their chosen pursuits."" --Neil Messer, Professor, Head of the Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy, University of Winchester, United Kingdom Michael Shafer (PhD, Durham University) is a pastor at theChurch.at in Tulsa, OK. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelRShafer.