Baseball as a Road to God
Seeing Beyond the Game
Publication Date: March 7, 2013
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A love letter to America's most beloved sport and an exploration of the deeper dimensions it reveals
For more than a decade, New York University President John Sexton has used baseball to illustrate the elements of a spiritual life in a wildly popular course at NYU. Using some of the great works of baseball fiction as well as the actual game's fantastic moments, its legendary characters, and its routine ritualsfrom the long-sought triumph of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, to the heroic achievements of players like the saintly Christy Mathewson and the sinful Ty Cobb, to the loving intimacy of a game of catch between a father and sonSexton teaches that through the game we can touch the spiritual dimension of life.
Baseball as a Road to God is about the elements of our lives that lie beyond what can be captured in words aloneineffable truths that we know by experience rather than by logic or analysis. Applying to the secular activity of baseball a form of inquiry usually reserved for the study of religion, Sexton reveals a surprising amount of common ground between the game and what we all recognize as religion: sacred places and time, faith and doubt, blessings and curses, and more.
In thought-provoking, beautifully rendered prose, this book elegantly demonstrates that baseball is more than a game, or even a national pastime: It can be a road to a deeper and more meaningful life.
Thomas Oliphant has been a correspondent for "The Boston Globe" since 1968 and its Washington columnist since 1989. He is a native of Brooklyn, a product of La Jolla High School in California, and a 1967 graduate of Harvard. He was one of three editors on special assignment who managed the "Globe"'s coverage of Boston's traumatic school desegregation, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. He has also won the writing award given by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He has appeared on ABC's "Nightline, ""The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer", "Face the Nation, The Today Show, Good Morning ""America"", "and CBS News' "This Morning". He has been named one of the country's top ten political writers and one of Washington's fifty most influential journalists by "The Washingtonian "magazine. He is the author of "Utter Incompetents". Mr. Oliphant lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, CBS correspondent Susan Spencer.