Saturday, March 5, 2011

B.C. Anglican priest earns doctorate in spirituality of snowboarding

From the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Department - Canada-

An Anglican priest in British Columbia has earned a PhD for his research into the spirituality of snowboarding.

Rev. Neil Elliot of St. Andrews Anglican Church in Trail began his studies 10 years ago in England, pulling together a love of snowboarding, an interest in spirituality and a desire to understand the relationship between spirituality and religion.

It was the word "soulriding" that first captured his attention more than a dozen years ago, while he was living in England and snowboarding in the Alps in Europe. The term made him wonder if there was a spiritual dimension to carving a path down a mountain.

"It's not a well-used term [and] it's kind of vague. I was interested in this term possibly as some kind of indicator of what was happening about spirituality. Was soulriding some kind of spirituality? Was it organized in some way? I had a whole bunch of questions about it," he said Friday in an interview.

"It seemed to provide a very good excuse for me to do some field research -- and you have to remember, at that time I was in Birmingham, England, without a mountain in sight and feeling fairly itchy to get out for more than just a week or two to the mountains."

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