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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Analysis of Boredom Hit from Many Angles
Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment discusses the rise of boredom in modern culture from a Christian perspective. Winter, a Psychiatrist and theology professor at Covenant Seminary (in St. Louis) looks at the subject of boredom from various angles.

He discusses the two main types of boredom (short term and the more permanent type), analyzes trends in...
Published on April 14, 2003 by Edward J. Vasicek

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Christian Perspective on Our Overstimulated Culture
In a world thoroughly permeated with entertainment sources such as iPads, netbooks, Blackberry phones, television programs, and the Internet, psychiatrist Richard Winter argues that we are a culture more bored than ever.

Winter describes the prevalence of boredom in today's culture by describing how we are constantly engrossed in entertainment, from electronic...
Published on February 21, 2011 by Books-In-Brief


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Analysis of Boredom Hit from Many Angles, April 14, 2003
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This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment discusses the rise of boredom in modern culture from a Christian perspective. Winter, a Psychiatrist and theology professor at Covenant Seminary (in St. Louis) looks at the subject of boredom from various angles.

He discusses the two main types of boredom (short term and the more permanent type), analyzes trends in modern culture that nurture boredom (over stimulation and constant entertainment), and how personality types make one more or less prone to boredom. He also documents how boredom has been viewed over the ages.

Winter analyzes how post-modern philosophy contributes toward indifference and meaninglessness, how boredom encourages addictive behavior or risk taking, and then offers a battle plan for the Christian to tackle boredom through six steps (remember the big picture, delight in the simple and ordinary, cultivate wonder, develop strong interests, actively engage instead of passively expecting others to initiate).

Some quotables include: "Boredom is a subtle form of negative thinking...", "...to the contemporary mind, goodness and beauty often seem boring and unstimulating...", and, "experience and intuition are supported by research that has found links between boredom and all sorts of negative states of mind and behavior..."

Much of the material in this book can be expanded upon by reading these three volumes, "Bowling Alone", "Natural Prozac", and "The Overspent American." I think this is a fine book, though a bit boring at times (sorry, but it is true!). Good stuff nonetheless.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Boredom: diagnosed and treated, August 20, 2004
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This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
"Despite its extraordinary variety of diversions and resources, its frenzy for spectacles and its feverish pursuit of entertainment, America is bored. The abundance of efforts made in the United States to counter boredom have defeated themselves, and boredom has become the disease of our time" (13).

If this is true and boredom is the disease of our time, then Richard Winter is the physician who has studied boredom's pathology and holds out a promising cure. Beginning with an investigation into the causes of boredom, Winter commences by considering how understimulation, repetition and a sense of disconnection all contribute to boredom. He differentiates two varieties of boredom (short-term and longer-term boredom). And then, in light of what appears to be a marked increase in boredom in recent years, considers how an increase in leisure time, a dependence upon technology, and the overstimulation produced by the hydra of the entertainment and advertising industries, each contribute to complacency and relate to boredom.

Throughout the mid chapters, Winter angles his investigation to include further psychological and historical factors. Why some people are more likely to get bored than others is the first question to be discussed. Distinguishing between boredom, depression and the apathy of grief follows. This second topic is dealt with at greater length with the reader being treated to a `trip back in time' in order to compare the contemporary phenomena of boredom with experiences of boredom in medieval times. While the author appears concerned that his readers may not want to traverse the ages with him, I am sure most will; especially as it is here that boredom is best described and we are brought face-to-face with the phenomena of boredom and its various guises.

In the later chapters, Winter relates the rise of boredom to three things: "the decline of Christianity, the sense of entitlement to happiness and an emphasis on subjective experience or on following my inner desires" (87). He also treats the fruits of boredom, which can be summarized as sexual addiction, increased aggression, and risk taking. Most importantly of all, our good physician prescribes a number of biblically grounded and practically oriented ways of counteracting boredom. This culminates in a final chapter entitled "Why Get Up in the Morning?" A gentle and gracious reminder of our need to respond to God and to look to Him as the One who not only enables us to patiently endure our moments of frustration and boredom, but who transforms us and provides us with a passion for living.

While Winter's book leaves room for much more to be said, yet it remains a useful introduction to what I believe will be one of the major pastoral concerns of the 21st century. As a primer on boredom's causes and consequences, this work has two main strengths. First, it helps us to comprehend some of the complexities of the society we now live in. For as Winter ably demonstrates, boredom is a fascinating lens through which to view and better understand certain attitudes and activities that are the hallmarks of contemporary culture. Second, this work extends real help to pastors and counselors as they increasingly identify and deal with the spiritual havoc that boredom can produce in the lives of those whom they shepherd and serve. Indeed, those alert to the ways in which boredom robs us of our appetite for God will find suggestions for awakening and enlivening bored people, as well as clues to orienting the gospel message to those whose hearts are heavy, souls are numb and whose rote response is... `whatever'.

Winsomely written and a fresh reminder of the applicability of biblical truth to everyday concerns, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment is a useful book that will spark discussion and hopefully spawn further work in this area.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find the true passions of life, November 8, 2002
By 
Steven Marusich (College Park, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
This book is for everyone who finds themselves bored with 'nothing to do' on Friday nights, who thinks there are '100 channels but nothing on', or has wiped out surfing the web. It challenges the way we think about and spend our leisure time. Winter shows the roots and causes of our American boredom, combining his expertise in the Bible and in psychiatry (in addition to his own love of art, theater, and gardening) to point to a more fulfilling world and lifeview.
This book will make you think about the attitude with which you do the most menial and trivial tasks. It changed the speed at which I eat my meals. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Christian Perspective on Our Overstimulated Culture, February 21, 2011
This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
In a world thoroughly permeated with entertainment sources such as iPads, netbooks, Blackberry phones, television programs, and the Internet, psychiatrist Richard Winter argues that we are a culture more bored than ever.

Winter describes the prevalence of boredom in today's culture by describing how we are constantly engrossed in entertainment, from electronic games and television to the Internet and the joys of consumerism. As a result of constantly being immersed in various forms of entertainment, we have become not content but dissatisfied with our lives, always seeking new distractions and more extreme and risky methods of satiating our discontent.

Our incessant saturation with entertainment ultimately leads to what Winter calls a "deadness of the soul", an overpowering feeling of indifference and callousness towards life. Winter then traces the concept of boredom from medieval times through today's postmodern era.

After a survey of the causes and consequences of boredom, Winter finally offers practical advice for thriving in a bored world, including remembering the big picture, finding delight in the simple things of life, and practicing "active engagement" as opposed to slothfully expecting to be relieved of boredom. Winter, a Christian, also argues that victory over boredom can be found in seeking God and reflecting upon his character, his creation, and resting in the fact that we are not made to find ultimate contentment in anything this side of heaven except in our relationship to God.

While I appreciated Winter's thorough study of the causes of boredom, I admit that I became, well, bored with this book. I started to read this book three times before I was finally able to plow through its entire contents. I found much of the first half of the book when Winter describes the prevalence of boredom and its immediate emotional consequences to be very repetitive (a characteristic Winter himself argues might cause boredom).

However, upon reaching the halfway-point of the book, Winter does a quality job of tracing the history of boredom through time and excellently describing its effect on spirituality. I especially found his exploration of the topic of being bored with or numbed towards God especially interesting as it touched upon emotions with which I have coped.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who does not understand that our culture is too obsessed with entertainment, and that we are worse off for it. This book would also be interesting to anyone who finds themselves wondering "is that all?" or to those who could use some encouragement that our ultimate sense of contentment in this world is found not in our sources of entertainment, but in God alone.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful analysis of our daily search for stimulation, March 17, 2003
By 
"rhinohamilton" (Trnava, Slovakia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
After having the privilege of hearing Dr. Winter speak on this and other subjects this January, I was eager to read his latest written work.
This book appealed to me on many levels: As someone who knows very little about psychology, it provided a good primer on the root causes of boredom; as a parent-to-be, it left me with plenty to chew on (I especially enjoyed the treatment of the effect of delayed gratification in children); and as a student of Popular Culture, it encouraged me to more carefully consider my diet of information and entertainment.
Perhaps most importantly, however, this book challenged me to seek out the day-to-day beauty and wonder to be found in creation.
I highly recommend this well-written work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, July 10, 2006
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This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
This book is a great psychological and theological exploration of the nature and causes of boredom, along with some tips about how Christians can beat it. There's a lot of really great material in here -- modern Americans are so bored not because we don't have enough to entertain us but because we have too much to entertain us; our consumer culture and the ubiquity of advertising has trained us to always move on to the next great thing, but has also attenuated our ability to appreciate these greater and greater thrills, leading us to seek ever more astounding highs and novelty in extreme sports and hardcore pornography; a simple solution to this malaise of boredom is available to Christians if we cultivate gratefulness and a spirit of fascination with all things, even repetition.

I really loved this book because it didn't just take the theological, Ecclesiastes, all-is-vanity-just-love-it-and-live-it approach to the topic, and neither did it take the literary, longing-for-longing, weight-of-glory, God-is-younger-than-us tack. Instead, Winter weighed in with a fantastic and fascinating psychological analysis, while still infused with all the rigor and magic of the theological and literary approaches. Great stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book on boredom, June 15, 2012
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This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book. I decided that video games were taking over my life, and decided to quit them, along with all other entertainment media, at least temporarily, and, finding myself with tons of extra time all of the sudden, exceptionally bored, feeling depressed, I read this book since it seemed fitting. I found it psychologically insightful, thoroughly constructive, and spiritually uplifting. Another reviewer said that there was too much theology, not enough psychology, which is funny because I thought there was too much psychology (I could've done without the couple psychoanalysis chapters), and not enough theology (which is primarily reserved until the last chapter of the book). But overall, I would definitely recommend the book if you find yourself bored with entertainment.

p.s. several weeks now without tv, movies, or video games, in frequent prayer, fasting, and reading the Bible and theology have done my soul a world of good!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, March 20, 2014
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This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
very helpful book in understanding the culture of organized religion and what is happening to our youth. Would highly recommend this book for church workers.
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31 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars more theology than psychology, February 29, 2004
This review is from: Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder (Paperback)
I bought this book on a whim because I liked the title. It began well, outlining some basic psychological research on boredom with a very accessible writing style. The book examines the nature of boredom, different varieties of boredom, and how personality is related to boredom. There is even a little personality test you can take to see how prone to boredom you are. I believe that the author is on target when he says that overstimulation and an excess of easy entertainment are the primary causes of boredom in our culture.

Unfortunately, about halfway through the book, there is a dramatic shift in tone where the author abruptly begins to relate everything to his Christian world view. This was a surprise because the cover and the information on the back of the book say nothing about religion, though it is clear that this was the purpose of the book all along. I felt rather deceived, as if I had just let a missionary into my home under false pretense. We are told that a meaningless life causes boredom, and that the only way to avoid meaninglessness is through religious faith. The author fails to convince at this point, especially after his previous discussion of the problem of boredom in early Christian monks! On very little argument or evidence, humanistic philosophies and "tolerance" are blasted as causing boredom and the rest of society's ills. Hmm, where have I heard this before?

The book ends with recommendations that borrow heavily from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's research on flow and the statement that we need to "serve" God if we are going to have a good and meaninful life. I consider this book more propaganda than anything else, and cannot recommend it.
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Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder
Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion & Wonder by Richard Winter (Paperback - October 16, 2002)
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