This is an extended version of the Activity one on page 9 of the book. Read the following description and answer the questions that follow:
The congregation all assemble at a pre-ordained time. All watch and listen attentively and most wear symbols identifying their common allegiance to the faith. Some start to chant ritual lines until there is a groundswell and all join in together. Some shout out words of encouragement at the faithful, or abuse at unbelievers. At certain points in the service, when excitement is at its height, the congregation jump and shout together. They show great emotional intensity and may even hug strangers. At the end of the service, the congregation go home, talking about their shared experience and looking forward to attending future services together.
It is in fact a description of people attending a football match.
Which words have been included that you would normally use in a religious context?
How is this experience a) similar to and b) different from religion?
Explain why football has sometimes been referred to as a ‘religious alternative’.
How might you use this example in explaining different types of definition of religion?