Study Guide

The Scorpio Races Religion

By Maggie Stiefvater


At first glance, sports and religion don't seem to go hand in hand. Competitive games seem to be about dividing people into winners vs. losers, and the really intense ones, like the Scorpio Races, are about beating the other guys as intensely as possible.

But then, after a victory, it seems some sports player is always going to go and thank God. While we're staying out of the argument as to whether God is a Yankees or a Red Sox fan, it seems that religion does have a place in sports, in its own weird way.

The Scorpio Races is no different, although religion's place is a little off-center. It's not a major theme, but there is a church on the island of Thisby, a character who is a priest, and a whole chapter set in a confessional both. There's something holy rolling around the island, and we're going to try to find out what it is.

Questions About Religion

  1. Taking the figure of the Mare Goddess into consideration, are the Scorpio Races a religion?
  2. How does religion factor into Puck's life? How about into Sean's?
  3. What are Father Mooneyham's duties as the only priest on the island?

Chew on This

Religion isn't that big of a deal on the island: they only have one church, people seem to go only on Sundays (if then), and church attendance seems to generally be a thing of habit instead of a quest for spiritual guidance. The priest, in other words, is more a mentor than a religious figure.

Religion is a huge deal on the island—it's just more the pagan flavor than the Catholic flavor. The Scorpio Races are steeped in human sacrifice that is older than any form of Christianity.

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