Louis Markos on the Transformative Power of Mere Hobbies
The Protestant work ethic, Max Weber famously argued, led directly to the spirit of capitalism. Though one can dispute Weber's cause-and-effect thesis, he is no doubt correct that America has been both blessed and cursed with a sometimes manic work ethic that produces personal and societal shame when it is not satisfied and recognized.
That shame often afflicts American Christians when they indulge in the kind of leisure activities that a far wiser German thinker (Joseph Pieper) celebrated as the true basis of culture. That is to say, though we are good at encouraging our fellow believers to make full use of their spiritual, God-given talents, we are often less . . .
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Louis Markos is Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University where he holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities; his 18 books include The Eye of the Beholder: How to See the World Like a Romantic Poet; From Achilles to Christ; Heaven and Hell, and The Dreaming Stone and In the Shadow of Troy (children's novels in which his children become part of Greek mythology and The Iliad and The Odyssey).
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