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‘Jesus saves’ and ‘Clothed in Christ’: athletic religious apparel in the Christian CrossFit community

Ornella, Alexander Darius


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Dr Alexander Ornella
Senior Lecturer in Religion, Director for Education and Student Experience


The popular sport of CrossFit has attracted a number of Christians who simultaneously celebrate their passion for their faith and their passion for their sport. In this interplay of sport and religion, fashion becomes an important means for the profession of faith. This essay focuses specifically on religious athletic T-shirts that appear regularly among Christians in CrossFit. I argue that these are not a mere profession of faith but serve a dual purpose: on the one hand being athletic (and one could argue secular) and on the other being religious symbols with a deeper theological meaning. As such, they are sites where business opportunities, religious and sacramental practices, advertisement and consumption practices collide. I argue that religious CrossFit T-shirts need to be taken seriously as a religious-sacramental practice, but also that religious athletic clothing makes faith fit for consumption.


Ornella, A. D. (in press). ‘Jesus saves’ and ‘Clothed in Christ’: athletic religious apparel in the Christian CrossFit community. Sport in Society, 22(2), 266-280.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 3, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 4, 2019
Journal Sport in society
Print ISSN 1743-0437
Electronic ISSN 1743-0445
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 266-280
Keywords CrossFit; Clothing; T-shirts; Religious studies; Religious clothing; Athletic apparel
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Sport in society, 2017. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


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