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Schutzian Research

Volume 12, 2020

Jochem Kotthaus
Pages 125-154

The Religious Experience of Setting Off Emergency Flares?
Reflections on a Soccer Fan’s Answer to the Heretical Imperative

The vague idea of likening soccer to religion, specifically in watching soccer as a fan, is widespread spread in both everyday life media and academia. The slightly muddled discourse can be clarified by focusing on two variations, differentiating between sport in religion and sport as religion. Concentrating on sport as a form of religious activity and experience, it seems obvious that one’s theoretical framework here connects Durkheim’s elevation of formerly profane objects to a Sacred with concepts of individualization and secularization. Yet, taking a critical look from the perspective of Luckmann’s theory of invisible or private religion, religion ought to be more narrowly conceived as a specific experience of transcendency. Employing Berger, it is plausible to employ a different rationale, leading to the conclusion that fandom constitutes a mimicry-religion. Mimicry-religion adheres to the inclination of the Self to understand his or her experience as religious for the need of a nomos, a legitimization of social institutionalizations.