Readers are introduced to a range of theoretical and methodological approaches used to understand religion ? including sociology, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology ? and how they can be used to understand sport as a religious phenomenon. Topics include the formation of powerful communities among fans and the religious experience of the fan, myth, symbols and rituals and the sacrality of sport, and sport and secularization. Case studies are taken from around the world and include the Olympics (ancient and modern), football in the UK, the All Blacks and New Zealand national identity, college football in the American South, and gymnastics.Ideal for classroom use, Understanding Sport as a Religious Phenomenon illuminates the nature of religion through sports phenomena and is a much-needed contribution to the field of religion and popular culture.