Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2012 | 54 | 1 | 5-12
Article title

Search for Immortality in Ancient and Modern Sport

Title variants
Languages of publication
There is only one real problem each human being faces: death. Nobody lives eternally. In essence, humans are mortal beings; beings-unto-death, as framed by Heidegger. But human beings are never reconciled with this fact. Since ancient times, humans have been searching for ways to become immortal and to somehow stay alive eternally. In this paper we will focus on one specific common understanding of immortality among people - immortality in memory. Since ancient Greece, success and fame have meant not only different privileges in the community but also achieving symbolic immortality. Artists, politicians, and athletes - all of them were trying to become well known. So other people would remember them after their death, praise them, and keep them in their memory. In times when transcendental immortality was not known (or accepted), this was the only means to becoming immortal. To this day, lists and statues of ancient Greek Olympic champions have survived. So in a way champions are still alive - they achieved immortality. With the rise of metaphysics in philosophy and the also the Christian understanding of transcendental immortality, the need to be famous, to stay alive in memory, has declined. But nowadays, when the faith in transcendental immortality is weak, once again the ancient notion of immortality is becoming more and more powerful. Being famous, recognized among others, staying in the memory of others - this can be one of the important motives in striving to become a champion in the field of sport.
Physical description
1 - 6 - 2012
21 - 6 - 2012
  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Aquinas, T. (1948). The Summa Theologica. New York: Benziger Bros.
  • Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Aristotle (350 BC). Nicomachean Ethics. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
  • Bamberger, M., & Yeager, D. (1997). Over the edge [Electronic version]. Sports Illustrated, 86(15). Retrieved November 8, 2011, from
  • Bickar, J.C. (2006). Excellence and Ethics in Olympic Sports [Electronic version]. GoodWork® Project Report Series, 47. Retrieved November 11, 2011 from
  • Burckhardt, J. (2002). History of Greek Culture. New York: Dover Publications.
  • Cannor, J.M., Mazanov, J. (2009). Would you dope? A general population test of the Goldman dilemma [Abstract]. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43, 871-872. Retrieved November 11, 2011 from DOI:10.1136/bjsm.2009.057596. [Crossref]
  • Cortese, A.J. (1997). The Notre Dame Bengal Bouts: Symbolic Immortality through Sport. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
  • Epicurus (1994). The Epicurus Reader. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
  • Goldman, B. (1984). Death in the locker room: Steroids & sports. South Bend: Icarus Press.
  • Goldman, B. (1992). Death in the locker room II: Drugs & sports. Chicago: Elite Sports Medicine Publications.
  • Guttmann, A. (1994). Games and Empires. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Joisten, K. (2007). Man, mortality and the Athletic idol-Yesterday and Today. In D. Mieth, N. Muller & C. Hubenthal (Eds.), Sport and Christianity. An Anthropological, Theological, and Pastoral Challenge (pp. 18-46). Mainz: Catholic Academy of the Diozese.
  • Jonas, H. (1962). Immortality and modern temper. Harward Theological Rewiew, 55(1), 1-20.
  • Kamerman, J. (2003). The Postself in Social Context. In C.D. Bryant (Ed.), Handbook of Death & Dying (pp. 302-306). London: Sage Publications.
  • Lifton, R.J. (1974). On Death and the Continuity of Life: A ‘New’ Paradigm. History of Childhood Quarterly, 1, 681-696.
  • Maritain, J. (2004). Po navdihu Tomaža Akvinskega/By inspiration of St. Thomas Aquinas/. Celje: Mohorjeva družba.
  • MMC RTV Slo. (2010, March). Video: Petra pravi, da je bilo vredno tvegati življenje /Video: Petra said that it was worth risking life/. Retrieved November 8, 2011 from
  • Nagel, T. (1987). What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Plato (2004). Zbrana dela I & Zbrana dela II /Collected works I & Collected works II/. Celje: Mohorjeva družba.
  • Schmitt, R.L. & Leonard, W.M. (1986). Immortalizing the self through sport. American Journal of Sociology, 91(5), 1088-1111.
  • Segal, E. (1967). It is Not Strength, But Art, Obtains the Prize. The Yale Review, 56(4), 605-609.
  • Spaemann, R. (2010). Essays in Anthropology. Oregon: Cascade Books. Sports Illustrated. (November 26, 2003). Easily obtained steroids focus of debate. Retrieved November 8, 2011, from
  • Taylor, M.R. (2003). Dealing With Death: Western Philosophical Perspectives. In C.D. Bryant (Ed.), Handbook of Death & Dying (pp. 24-33). London: Sage Publications.
  • Vigilant, L.G., Williamson, J.B. (2003). Symbolic Immortality and Social Theory: The Relevance of an Underutilized Concept. In C.D. Bryant (Ed.), Handbook of Death & Dying (pp. 173-182). London: Sage Publications.
  • Weiss, P. (1969). Sport; a philosophic inquiry. Illinos: Southern Illinois University Press.
  • Zagzebski, L.T. (2007). Philosophy of Religion; an historical introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Zore, F. (1997). Obzorja grštva: logos in bit v antični filozofiji /The horizons of Greek: Logos and being in ancient philosophy/. Ljubljana: Znanstveno in publicistično središče.
  • Zupanc, M. (1997). Cerkev in šport /Church and sport/. Bachelor's thesis, Ljubljana: Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za šport.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.