Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Leisure: The Basis of Culture 1586172565
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Book Summary:
One of the most important philosophy titles published in the twentieth century, Josef Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture is more significant, even more crucial, today than it was when it first appeared more than fifty years ago. This edition also includes his work The Philosophical Act. Leisure is an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters a capacity to perceive the reality of the world. Pieper shows that the Greeks and medieval Europeans, understood the great value and importance of leisure. He also points out that religion can be born only in leisure -- a leisure that allows time for the contemplation of the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the first foundation of any culture. Pieper maintains that our bourgeois world of total labor has vanquished leisure, and issues a startling warning: Unless we regain the art of silence and insight, the ability for non-activity, unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements, we will destroy our culture -- and ourselves.
Other Books by Josef Pieper
  • Faith, Hope, Love
  • Guide to Thomas Aquinas
  • Abuse of Language Abuse of Power

About the Author:
Josef Pieper

Josef Pieper was a German Catholic philosopher, at the forefront of the Neo-Thomistic wave in twentieth century Catholic philosophy. His views are rooted primarily in the Scholasticism of Thomas Aquinas and in the teachings of Plato. In 60 years of creative work as a philosopher and writer, Pieper explicated the wisdom tradition of the West in clear language, and identified its enduring relevance.

Visit Josef Pieper's Author Page

Leisure: The Basis of Culture
5 Stars Two for the price of one
on July 11, 2011
This book is really two in one. The first "Leisure, The Basis of Culture" and "The Philosophical Act." 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!
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
5 Stars What Protestant Work Ethic?
on October 30, 2014
This short book of two essays is worth a two semester history class on what made Old Europe tick. Beautifully written and explains the concept of Leisure, and how it is not laziness as the "Protestant Work Ethic" worshipers would like you to believe. If you're in the mood for some refreshing thinking on an old concept, that our European ancestors enjoyed, this book is for you.
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
5 Stars a rethinking of Leisure
on February 25, 2012
Leisure : the Basis of culture turned out to be a great surprise to me. I never thought this read to be the philosophical work that it was. I am no student of philosophy so i found the book to be a challenge to read but well worth it to work through. Like a good movie i don't want to spoil the finale for any one interested in picking this little book up. One thing i will say ; it will change the way you think of leisure once you grasp its true definition as intended by the ancients.
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
4 Stars A bit dense, but very articulate about leisure, rest, and worship.
on February 8, 2017
A bit dense, but very articulate about leisure, rest, and worship. I read through what I could and gleaned the ability to clarify and articulate a lot of my thoughts. Loved the discourse on the importance of placing proper priority on leisure in the overcoming of poverty. Defining the right of the whole person to leisure, that we're not meant to be cogs in a work machine. Helps us understand what it means to be human.