MUSCULAR CHRISTIANITY

Muscular Christianity
(Group Task)

Much has been written about the Puritanism philosophy that pervaded early American history. It was indeed a stern view of human life, which left little room for physical activity that was unrelated to work and took a harsh view of anything that was playful. The new world of America was in many respects an inhospitable place, one that could be developed only through a strong work ethic and a climate in which codes of behavior were strict. Thus, Puritanism- a set of beliefs deriving from the stricter forms of religion that grew from the Reformation-served a genuine purpose in development of America. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the eastern half of the nation was well developed, the Industrial Revolution was at hand, a middle class was emerging, cities were developing, and the once-strong hand of the Puritan philosophy was gradually losing its grip on the social life of the young nation. It was within this context that religion and sport reached an “understanding” through the philosophy that was to be called muscular Christianity.

This philosophy was not necessarily associated with any one person or group or movement, yet it was an idea whose time had come for America. One important force for the move away from Puritanism and toward muscular Christianity was the American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Greatly influenced by what he saw as the best in English education and life, Emerson developed an American philosophy of self-reliance and faith in human perfection. His philosophy contained a central place for sport and fitness:

Emerson reckoned that moral and physical courage were partly dependent on body fitness. “For performance of great mark,” he said, “it (the body) needs extraordinary health.” In his The Conduct of life, Emerson noted that “the first wealth is health.” He admired the great men of the past and urged young people to read their exploits. Yet sometimes youth does not take readily to books, he noted. “Well, the boy is right; and you are not fit to direct his bringing up, if your theory leaves out gymnastic training, archery, cricket, gun and fishing rod, horse and boat, all are educators, liberalizers.” (Lucas & Smith, 1978, p.88)

The idea that participation in sport had moral benefit was almost directly opposite ti the puritan philosophy-and, gradually, the idea took hold.

Muscular Christianity is the label given to the philosophy that physical fitness and sporting prowess were important avenues through which mental, moral, and religious purposes were developed and sustained. An important source for this philosophy was the educational ideals of aristocratic British education. Charles Kingsley, a prominent American clergyman, greatly admired the combination of sport, fitness and intellectual-moral training that boys received in elite British schools. He borrowed those combinations as he wrote and spoke about the new vision of the religious person in whom moral, intellectual and physical characteristics were equally important (Smith & Lucas, 1978)

The philosophy of muscular Christianity spread quickly and was made even more popular through the novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays, a best seller in the 1850s. The book told the story of life at the Rugby School an elite British boys secondary school. The headmaster of the Rugby School was Thomas Arnold, a figure of major proportions in British philosophy and education. Arnold believed in an education that produced manliness, courage, patriotism, moral character and team spirit as wall as intellectual independence. Sport and fitness were considered to be important activities through which such goals were achieved. In the late nineteenth century in England, this philosophy was called Arnoldism; it is virtually identical to what is described here as muscular Christianity.

The novel, Tom Brown’s Schooldays, was a highly romantic book in which sport and fitness occupied a more important role than they did in the real life of the Rugby School. Nonetheless, this novel was read widely by educators, clergy, and common people, all of whom were influenced by the idea that competitive sport was an attribute of the virtuous, moral life. It was the general acceptance of these notions that allowed sport to develop so quickly in the last part of the nineteenth century in America.

SUMMARY
Puritanism philosophy was indeed a stern view of human life, which left little room for physical activity that was unrelated to work and took a harsh view of anything that was playful.
Thus, Puritanism a set of beliefs deriving from the stricter forms of religion that grew from the Reformation-served a genuine purpose in development of America.
But by the mid-nineteenth century, the Puritan philosophy was gradually losing its grip on the social life of the young nation. It was within this context that religion and sport reached an “understanding” through the philosophy that was to be called muscular Christianity.
Muscular Christianity was revealed by American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Greatly influenced by what he saw as the best in English education and life, Emerson developed an American philosophy of self-reliance and faith in human perfection. His philosophy contained a central place for sport and fitness:
Emerson reckoned that moral and physical courage were partly dependent on body fitness. Emerson noted that “the first wealth is health.” He admired the great men of the past and urged young people to read their exploits.
Muscular Christianity is the label given to the philosophy that physical fitness and sporting prowess were important avenues through which mental, moral, and religious purposes were developed and sustained. An important source for this philosophy was the educational ideals of aristocratic British education.
The philosophy of muscular Christianity spread quickly, Sport and fitness were considered to be important activities through which such goals were achieved. In the late nineteenth century in England, this philosophy was called Arnoldism; it is virtually identical to what is described here as muscular Christianity.
The novel, Tom Brown’s Schooldays, was a highly romantic book in which sport and fitness occupied a more important role than they did in the real life of the Rugby School. Nonetheless, this novel was read widely by educators, clergy, and common people, all of whom were influenced by the idea that competitive sport was an attribute of the virtuous, moral life.

PROBLEM
From this article we can conclude that the main problem is:
In Puritanism philosophy, physical activities (sports) was a indeed a stern view of human life, which left little room for physical activity that was unrelated to work and took a harsh view of anything that was playful. So, sports did not have a good place in their mind.

SOLUTION
There was a great novel, it was Tom Brown’s Schooldays novel. This novel told the story of life at the Rugby School an elite British boys secondary school. This novel was read by many people include clergy and educator because there was a good sense, competitive sport was an attribute of the virtuous and moral life. It was the general acceptance of these notions that allowed sport to develop so quickly in the last part of the nineteenth century in America.

SUGESSTION
We have to thanks because we live in modern times, where people think that sports is a good activity. People might be able to understand that physical activities, fitness, and gymnastic is necessary to our live goodness. It is not an unless activity. It is enjoy, make healthy and in otherwise it can give income for many people. There is not loss if we join sports.

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