Sunday, 26 December 2010
James I, Sport, and Unity
The Queen's Christmas speech this year touched briefly upon James I's commissioning of the Authorised Translation, as a means of preserving unity in the rapidly fragmenting Church of England. This translation, the queen notes, will be 4oo years old this coming year. Though she doesn't make the connection between James and sport (despite the latter's Book of Sport), the queen manages to tie in sports with a sense of community that needn't be bound by differing religious faiths. 'People are capable of belonging to many communities, including a religious faith,' according to the queen. I won't speculate as to whether or not she has a particular faith in mind, but it seems that the English values of fair play, rules, and even toleration of difference, are still alive and relevant. As for the statement that James probably couldn't have anticipated how important sport and games are to the promotion of unity, the sad thing is that though these age-old values are indeed relevant, their history--and intention--seems to have been misconstrued at the highest level. That is to say, i think James had every idea what he was doing when he issued the Book of Sports.