Hockey as a Religion


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  • Title: Hockey as a Religion: The Montreal Canadiens
  • Author(s): Olivier Bauer
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Sport & Society
  • Keywords: Sports-Religious aspects, Montreal Canadiens (Hockey team), Québec (Province)-Religion
  • Year: 2011
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-930-6
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-931-3
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Bauer, Olivier. 2011. Hockey as a Religion: The Montreal Canadiens. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-931-3/CGP.
  • Extent: 84 pages


Sport is all about play and game, aesthetic and strength, passion and emotion, challenge and rivalry. But because sometimes players and fans look for a little extra help from God, gods, spirits or any other Supreme Being, sport is also a matter of beliefs and Faith. Often, sport uses religion if the sport itself does not become a religion first. In Montreal, the fans’ passion and emotion benefits the Montreal Canadiens, the oldest and the most victorious National Hockey League team. Since 2008, the Protestant Theologian Olivier Bauer, a former hockey goaltender, is carefully studying the religious aspects of the Montreal Canadiens. In his book, Olivier Bauer reveals how the Montreal Canadiens becomes a religion, specifies which kind of religion it is, and explains how it is interrelated with Quebec’s Catholicism. From a theological point of view, he analyses two ways of practicing the Montreal Canadiens Religion, shows why both ways are idolatry, denounces the weakness of such a religion, and pleads for an evangelical use of the Montreal Canadiens.