Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game (MP3 CD)
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For more than a decade, John Sexton has taught a wildly popular New York University course about two seemingly very different things: religion and baseball. Yet Sexton argues that one is actually a pathway to the other. A fan can appreciate baseball through a favorite team, the avalanche of statistics, a cherished cliff-hanging game or season, or the simple joy of sitting in a ballpark. Baseball's broad appeal lies in its improbable moments: Joe DiMaggio's fifty-six-game hitting streak, home runs in the bottom of the ninth, and teams finally winning it all after decades of frustration. In these magic moments, baseball can transcend cognition. We can dissect and analyze and argue about what we are watching, but the experience of it puts us in touch with forces that go beyond ourselves. Baseball as a Road to God is about touching that something that lies beyond logical understanding. Sexton illuminates the surprisingly large number of mutual concepts shared between baseball and religion: faith, doubt, conversion, miracles, and even sacredness among many others. Structured like a game and filled with riveting accounts of baseball's most historic moments, Baseball as a Road to God will enthrall baseball fans whatever their religious beliefs. In thought-provoking, beautifully rendered prose, Sexton elegantly demonstrates that baseball is more than a game, or even a national pastime: It can be a road to enlightenment.