Baylor > Institute for Faith and Learning > News



Latest Issue of Christian Reflection, Acedia, Now Available Online

Oct. 21, 2013

Christian Reflection: Acedia CoverThe Institute for Faith and Learning is pleased to announce that Acedia, the latest issue of Christian Reflection, is now available online.

Formerly published through Baylor's Center for Christian Ethics, this issue is the first to be released by the Institute following the merger of these two departments.

Despite its prevalence in our culture, acedia may be the least understood of the seven capital vices, or "deadly sins." Our contributors trace its symptoms through daily life and commend remedies for it from the Christian tradition.

"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 examines 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. "We can live and work with the same people for years without being fully invested in their lives--or our own," Ockholm writes. "Stability requires attentiveness--paying attention to those with whom we share common space and time. It means persevering in listening."

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 published each quarter by the Institute for Faith and Learning. You may download its contents for free from the website www.ChristianEthics.ws, or request a free subscription to the print version by emailing ChristianReflection@Baylor.edu or phoning (254) 710-4805.