What is leisure?

For many, the word brings to mind vacations, naps, even enjoying a quiet cup of coffee. It feels slightly self-indulgent, and yet much needed. In fact, we would quite like to have more time for it. Somehow, no matter how much time we make for hobbies, early bedtimes, or holidays, it is never enough. We face the work at hand, whether it’s a job, raising kids, volunteering at church, or studying a course, and feel ourselves sigh as we face the grindstone again.

In his essay Leisure, the Basis of Culture, philosopher Josef Pieper turns this concept of leisure on its head, showing his readers that leisure is more than a break from work. In fact, if we view it that way, we will always feel selfish when we make time for it, and quickly worn out when we return to our jobs. Instead, leisure is an intrinsically valuable attitude of the spirit and a powerful Christian witness in today’s frenetic, work-centric culture.

Leisure, the Basis of Culture is not long, but it is provocative – to the point that I had to write out my reflections on the book as blog posts! You can find the links below, or get more information on my study guide!

Other Posts on Rest

You my also enjoy a few other posts I have written on the topic of rest and leisure.

Leisure, the Basis of Culture Around the Internet

If you’re looking for more details about this essay, the Schole Sisters have published a chapter-by-chapter paraphrase of the essay!

Chapter One

Chapter Two: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five: Part One