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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Games, play, religion, fun contribute to soulful life

Thomas Moore writes "Sacred Play, the Game of Life and Golf" on his blog to introduce his upcoming Irish golf retreat in May. This author of The Guru of Golf  shares his interest in game and play as related to religion:
"For many years I’ve been interested in game and play as important aspects of human life and culture and cousins to religion, my field of study. I’ve read many good authors on these themes, including Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga, about the play element in culture; Peter Berger and D. W. Winnicott on play in ordinary life; and my graduate advisor David L. Miller’s book, Gods and Games. My friend Lynda Sexson wrote one of the best books I know about religion and culture, Ordinarily Sacred, in which she shows how play functions in religion.
Games have much in common with religion: seasons, defined time periods, rituals, physical boundaries, rubrics. For example, golf has strict rules or rubrics, clear in-bounds geography, prescribed tools and language, an etiquette of its own, a list of heroes, a colorful history, pageant, and a dark language of hazards, clubs, traps and bogeys."
Playing the game well or even at all is not a prerequisite for participation in this program. Moore insists, "Remember, I don’t play well, so that’s not a requirement. In fact, you don’t have to play at all. You can be a spectator and use the time for pure retreat. I’ve spent most of my life living in and visiting Ireland. There’s no better place for a retreat where fun is an essential part of the package."

Moore recommends a 10 June 2010 essay about fun that he wrote for Huffington Post: "Why Fun is a Serious Issue". In this piece, Moore writes, "Modern life — and I mean the modernist myth that shapes us — is, in contrast, deadly serious. The fun has gone out of work, and if the fun is gone, what is left? What is left is a soulless culture, because in some mysterious way a soulful life and fun go together." Experience soul and fun during this golf excursion in May.  

Barque coverage
11 Jan 2013 "Play soulful golf with Thomas Moore in Ireland "