John University in Britain, said in a Christianity Today podcast this week that the theology of "muscular Christianity
" behind the modern Olympics was seeing "the body as a good thing that can be used as a tool to serve Jesus."
Most of these novels reflected the popular Victorian era campaign for Muscular Christianity
, an English philosophical movement that emphasized patriotism, manliness, athleticism, teamwork, and self-sacrifice.
Bourrier begins with novels of muscular Christianity
: Yonge's The Heir of Redclyffe (1853) and Kingsley's Westward Ho!
Catholics invoking a muscular Christianity
, similar to what has long been part of evangelical parlance, is promoted by authors and speakers who use their experience in the military and as athletes and bodybuilders for examples of how to combat evil in the world.
The movement redefined masculinity as "muscular Christianity
" and Victorian femininity as pure and morally exemplary.
As a proponent of muscular Christianity
, Naismith sought to build Christian characters in young men "and [basketball] was an instrument or vehicle through which he could teach people these values."
* How did the idea of "muscular Christianity
" affect the rise of football?
In the Victorian culture of the nineteenth century, a movement arose called "muscular Christianity
," helping give rise to the YMCA, James Nasmith's invention of basketball, and ultimately CCC's athletic wing, "Athletes in Action," who share Christ through athletic programs.
In England and the United States, during the nineteenth century, "muscular Christianity
" emerged as an argument for male physical fitness (Neddam 2004; Cahn 1994).
This exposition has been described as a "high water mark" for "muscular Christianity
" in the United States, never to be repeated (13).
His drastic methods of dealing with refractory hearers of the Gospel were of course openly disavowed by the Christians present, but he did not mind their rebuke, because he felt sure his Christian friends inwardly approved and admired his exhibition of 'muscular Christianity
.'" (59) The shammos, according to Freuder, used his physical strength and intimidation to control attendees at least in part because he imagined that this kind of display of manliness was an embodiment of the ideals of "muscular Christianity
," a contemporary term for the movement that sought to redefine ideal Christian manhood in terms emphasizing physical strength and well-being through competitive sports and physical education.
Contemporary men's ministries comprise what might be called a "third wave" of Muscular Christianity
. The first wave gained momentum in the late 1800s and early 1900s (Allen, 2002; Bederman, 1989) and "can be defined simply as a Christian commitment to health and manliness" (Putney, 2003, p.