When Neil Elliot, an avid snowboarder in the drop-dead-gorgeous Kootenay Rockies of British Columbia, first came across the boarder’s term, soul riding, he was intrigued. Elliot is also an ordained minister at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in the town of Trail. He told the local Trail Daily Times that six years ago, he decided to fashion his doctoral degree around the overt spiritual connotations of soul riding. Already holding a master’s degree in theology and Islamic studies, Elliot decided to undertake his doctorate in the sociology of religion at Kingston University in London, England. For his PhD thesis, he interviewed 35 boarders from the U.K. and Canada.
“It’s the first PhD in snowboarding at all, so it’s pretty unique. It gave me an excuse to get out and participate in a sport I love, and it provided me with a framework to examine human spirituality.” Continue reading