Despite its prevalence in our culture, acedia may be the least understood of the seven capital vices, or 'deadly sins.'
"At its core, acedia is aversion to our relationship to God because of the transforming demands of his love," Rebecca DeYoung explains. "God wants to kick down the whole door to our hearts and flood us with his life; we want to keep the door partway shut so that a few lingering treasures remain untouched, hidden in the shadows." We deploy two, dissimilar strategies to avoid the demands of love, whether human or divine: not doing what's required of us, or pouring ourselves into something else.
Andrew Michel discusses the relationship between the spiritual torpor that attends acedia and clinical depression. Dennis Ockholm and Amy Freeman examine a primary remedy for acedia, namely stabilitas, or staying put and not running away from love's demands. The novels of Evelyn Waugh reveal the pervasiveness of acedia in modern culture, Heather Hughes explains. Kyle Childress and Alvin Ung track its toxins in congregations and the workplace.
Christian Reflection is an ideal resource for discipleship training in the church. Multiple copies are available for group study at $3.00 per copy.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to explore the vice of acedia and its remedies in the Christian tradition. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Acedia issue and the set of five Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
"Resistance to the Demands of Love," by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
"Staying Put to Get Somewhere" by Dennis Ockholm
"In Pursuit of Sophia: On Pilgrimage with Depression and Acedia," by Andrew A. Michel
"An Unconditional Surrender: Evelyn Waugh on Acedia," by Heather Hughes
"Remedies to Acedia in the Rhythm of Daily Life," by Amy Freeman
"A Wearied Explorer," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Hieronymus Bosch's Tabletop with Seven Deadly Sins and Last Four Things
"Intimate Separation," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Edward Hopper's Room in New York
Hymns and Worship Service
"I Lift My Prayer to Thee" by Burt L. Burleson
Worship Service by Burt L. Burleson
"Sloth: Who Cares?" by Kyle Childress
"Acedia in the Workplace," by Alvin Ung
"Other Voices," Quotations on Acedia
"The Capital Vices: Acedia's Deadly Cronies," by John Spano
Christopher Cook, The Philokalia and the Inner Life: On Passions and Prayer
Christopher Jamison, Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps for Fulfilling Life
Henry Fairlie, The Seven Deadly Sins Today
Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung, Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and their Remedies
"Diagnosing Acedia and Its Spiritual Neighbors," by Jonathan Sands Wise
Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture
Richard Winter, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of five Study Guides)
"Resistance to the Demands of Love"
"Depression and Acedia"
"Staying Put to Get Somewhere"
"Remedies to Acedia in the Rhythm of Daily Life"
"Acedia in the Modern Age"
"Schooling the Young into Goodness," by Darin H. Davis and Paul J. Wadell (Schools in a Pluralist Culture)