Sports and Spirituality: An overlooked connection?

John Rader

By John Rader
November 1, 2021

When the game is on the line, faith sometimes wavers in people, For Dr. Edward Hastings, this was never the case.

Hastings is currently a professor of Sports, and spirituality at Villanova University. In addition to having a career in education, he played for the 1971 Villanova Basketball team that reached the Final Four.

Hastings during the 1971 “Final Four” season, Photo Credit:

Hastings spoke about his passion for God and sports, (which Hastings cleverly refers to as “Sportuality”) this week during a special talk with the Cabrini student body in Bruckmann Chapel.

Right off the bat, Hastings stressed the importance of God’s presence in our daily lives, and how this should be taken seriously. He emphasized how one of the main goals in spirituality is that we need to attempt to see God in all things, and sports is not exempt from this philosophy.

“We often believe as a society that God is not present in sports,” Hasting said, “If you want to see God in sports, you just need to know what you are looking for.”

This mantra applies to rivalries, wins, losses, and anything directly related to athletic competition. According to Hastings, God is present in all of these scenarios that occur throughout the course of a sporting event, as long as you have the “right sight.”

“What does God teach us in defeat?” Hastings asked the crowd.

This was one of the many questions that he asked in relation to the lessons we can learn throughout the course of a sporting event. He believes that we can learn more from winning than losing, as we can truly find out about ourselves from facing adversity. He said that this adversity we face in defeat strengthens our bond with “our lord and savior.” The idea that God always has a plan and that he is trying to get across to us more often in defeat than in triumph was a point of emphasis throughout his talk.

Hastings stressed the importance of love and respect when it comes to how you treat your rivals in the field of play. He believes that you should obviously play to win, but show respect while doing.

According to his philosophy, “Your opponent is an extension of you, and you need to appreciate your opponent.”

Dr. Hastings and the crowd of guests prior to his lecture at Bruckman Chapel, Photo Credit: John Rader

This ideal of love and respect on the field of competition could not be more prevalent in Hastings home life. Hastings grew up in the Philadelphia area, and attended high school locally at Cardinal O’ Hara where he was an All Delaware County guard. As it turns out, Hastings would later be brother- in-law with one of his old high school basketball rivals from Monsignor Bonner High School.

This all harps back to Hastings’ point of love and respecting each other whether you are on the same team or not, as you truly never know what God has in store for you.

Hastings’ lecture to the Cabrini student body shed light on how we as young adults can look for God in their daily lives, we just have to think harder about what God’s meaning is in our daily occurrences.

This includes the world of sports, as he calls it “Sportuality.”



John Rader

John Rader

My name is John “Jake” Rader and I am a senior here at Cabrini University. This is my second year being a part of the Loquitur, as I am the News Editor for this year's team. In addition to that, I am also in charge of managing the corrections page for the Loquitur. I have an avid passion for being on camera, and showing off my personality. My ultimate goal is to be a news or sports anchor, or doing sports broadcast work. I hope to continue to build my highlight reel this year with the Loquitur, and I have formally interned/blogged for Branded Sports.

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