Acedia

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.

Download the entire Acedia issue and the set of five Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.

Articles

Art

Hymn and Worship Service

Inspirational Pieces

Book Reviews

  • "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)

Further Reading: