- Paperback: 145 pages
- Publisher: Ignatius Press (October 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1586172565
- ISBN-13: 978-1586172565
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leisure: The Basis of Culture Paperback – October 1, 2009
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Pieper has subjects involved in everyone's life; he has theses that are so counter to prevailing trends as to be sensational; and he has a style that is memorably clear and direct. --Chicago Tribune
Pieper's message for us is plain.... The idolatry of the machine, the worship of mindless know-how, the infantile cult of youth and the common mind-all this points to our peculiar leadership in the drift toward the slave society.... Pieper's profound insights are impressive and even formidable. --New York Times Book Review
These two short essays by a contemporary German philosopher go a long way towards a lucid explanation of the present crisis in civilisation.... The first essay... should be read by anyone-and young people in particular-anxious to come to some conclusions about the nature of society." --The Spectator, London
About the Author
Josef Pieper (1904-1997) was an influential German Catholic philosopher, scholar, and author.
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The first book starts with the premise that "the foundation of Western culture is leisure." Something not easily appreciated in our hectic life. Yet the end point of this leisure is not laziness but celebration. "The most festive festival it is possible to celebrate is divine worship." I never thought of liturgy as leisure before I read this book. Pieper makes a wonderful point that liturgy does not serve any pratical purpose. Rather liturgy carries us into another dimenension. "Carried away out of the straitness of the workaday world into the heart of the universe."
In the second book, Pieper asks the question. "What does philosophizing mean?" For Pieper it means to step outside our everday world, "to see the stars above the roof, to preserve our apprehension of the universality of things in the midst of the habits of daily life." Wonderful!
As I say in my title, Pieper is not talking about leisure in the way that most people think. All I will say here is that leisure relates to school, learning, and having time to ponder what really matters.
Most Americans don't value the ancient idea (and ideal) of leisure. We are driven, distracted, and intoxicated with the tangible signs of success. We were created for so much more than these trivial pursuits.
Let Pieper show you the way forward!
If you're in the mood for some refreshing thinking on an old concept, that our European ancestors enjoyed, this book is for you.