In Rio de Janeiro, the spiritual home of world football, and Bues Aires, where a popular soccer club president was recently elected mayor, the game is an integral part of national identity. Using the football stadium as an illuminating cultural lens, Temples of the Earthbound Gods examines many aspects of urban culture that play out within these monumental architectural forms, including spirituality, violence, rigid social rms, anarchy, and also expressions of sexuality and gender. Tracing the history of the game in Brazil and Argentina through colonial influences as well as indigeus ball courts in Mayan, Aztec, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Olmec societies, Christopher Gaffney's study spans both ancient and contemporary worlds, linking the development of stadiums to urbanization and the consolidation of nation building in two of Latin America's most intriguing megacities.
Christopher Thomas Gaffney is an independent scholar based in Durham, North Carolina. Also a journalist and local radio commentator, he has played soccer on four continents, winning the 1997 Taiwanese Footballer of the Year Award.