Since we last met there's been a new edition of Leisure released by Ignatius Press, introduced by Father Schall.
I'm wondering if the title should have been changed to Recovering the Lost Tools of Leisure.
Clearly, this topic continues to be as important today as it was fundamental when Pieper proposed it in the late 40s, for Father Schall names Leisure as a *must-read* in his Student's Guide to Liberal Learning.
The implication is that our country has strayed so far from its moorings that she is not unlike Pieper's homeland. Remember, Germany is rebuilding after the devastation of WWII and our author is pleading his case: that leisure be at the basis.
Furthermore, with all the work-oriented designers, philosophers, statesmen, etc, Pieper's ideas run cross-grain and threaten modern presuppositions. Pieper fears that the reconstructionists have forgotten the most important aspect of culture.
So, after defining the first term (work) in the previous chapter, the author proceeds to define leisure by comparing and contrasting the components of the term in light of work: activity vs non-activity; toil vs celebration; functionary vs human. Pieper cites philosophers, poets, and prophets as witnesses of the concept. Kierkegaard, Aquinas, Sombart, Scheler, Heraclitus, Job, Weiss, Hodlerlin, Kerenyi, to name a few.
Current society is so far removed from the (High Middle Ages) context that Pieper believes is crucial to an healthy society that he approaches his audience much like the apostle Paul at the Areopagus when he's presenting the gospel to the Greeks. He's coming at them from all angles.
Despite Pieper's spiritual language - leisure is a condition of the soul - and my re-reading of Hebrews 4 in light of the obvious correlation with the Scriptural promise of rest, I dont get the feeling that a sermon is being preached. More that I'm hearing a spirited debate between power brokers.
Which team can harness the strength of its citizenry?
Pieper's power is special because his leisure is
powered to step beyond the working world and win contact with those superhuman, life-giving forces that can send us, renewed and alive again, into the busy world of work.
Is your leisure empowering?
Or more on topic are you homeschooling from a position of leisure?