July 24, 2012

Religion at the Olympics, from ancient Greece to London

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RNS photo by Mark Wooten / courtesy Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_wooten/5260390629/) *Note - due to copyright laws, RNS can not offer the downloadable version of this image. If you would like to download it, please go to the link above.

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(RNS) The Olympics began in ancient Greece as a festival to honor a single god, Zeus. But organizers of the games must now navigate myriad sacred fasts and holy days. By Chris Lisee.

  • frequentwind

    One more for this year: from sundown this Saturday night to sundown Sunday is the Jewish observance of Tisha B’Av. It is the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and is used to commemorate the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem (and a variety of other events). This year it is being tied in by many Jewish organizations to the Munich massacre because of the moment-of-silence controversy.

  • It Seems To Me

    The worship of athletic achievement has attained the status of a “religion” in our present day world.

  • Lisa

    Welcome to the new (old) paganism. We currently worship the earth, actors and sports stars.

  • Mack

    The Olympics are, at best, irrelevant. The refusal of the committee to observe a moment of silence for Olympic athletes murdered by (hmmm, who were those murderers…?) in 1972 smells of anti-Semitism.

    The best athletic events are pickup baseball and basketball games with the neighborhood children.

  • K.M.

    And the ancients had a 100 bulls sacrificed on the 3rd day to honor Zeus which coincides with Tisha B’ Av on the Jewish calendar this year. Does this portend something? Do you also know the vestal virgins who lit the torch in Olympia proclaim this over the flame?

    “Sacred silence let the Sky, the Earth, the Sea and the Wind sound.

    Mountains fall silent, sounds of the birds cease.

    Apollo. The god of the Sun.

    The light bearer King shall keep us company.

    Apollo. King of the Sun and the? of light.

    Send your rays and light.

    The Sacred Torch”

  • sherry

    wow