Tuesday, June 15

The Paradox of the Poverty of Time: How Then Shall We Rest?

breadfortheworld"The paradox of modernity, according to theologian Colin Gunton, is that “a world dedicated to the pursuit of leisure and of machines that save labour is chiefly marked by its levels of rush, frenetic busyness and stress.” Liberals and conservatives, secularists and persons of faith all seem to agree that time poverty is a modern malaise . . . .

Renunciation with respect to time is making a comeback. Slow food, voluntary simplicity, and Take Back Your Time all assert, as does the Sabbath, that there is more to life than producing and consuming. All of which raises the question: Are trips to the spa––or weekends in general––really functional equivalents of the Sabbath? . . . .

Slow and simple are not sufficient solutions because restlessness runs deeper than mere overwork. Precisely because our disorder turns out to be not just cultural but rather part of the human condition, holiness matters.

How shall we then rest? "

Karl E. Johnson, “How Shall We Rest?”, Books & Culture (July/August 2010): 14-15.

Photo edited by Terri Stewart (me)

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