On her website, the prominent Christian CrossFit athlete Andrea Ager reflects on wearing a “Jesus saves, bro” t-shirt at a recent competition. She declares: “That day I got to reperesent [sic] for the only brand worth representing“. The ambiguity in the language leaves open if “brand” refers to the apparel or to Jesus or salvation and raises important theological questions about the practice of the professio fidei: if God becomes a brand, does the professio fidei become a series of economic transactions in which faith in the Christian God becomes brand loyalty?
Drawing on Pace’s understanding of religion as communication (Pace 2011) this paper will discuss the idea of God-as-brand in the context of CrossFit, an increasingly popular sport in which material and body practices are an important identity marker. I argue that the material practice of wearing one’s professio fidei transforms the religious act into a political and economic act.
Conference Presentation, Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity, York St. John University, 24-28 August 2016.
Pace, Enzo (2011) “Religion as Communication”, in: International Review of Sociology 21 (1), 2011, 205-229.