“Have Leisure and Know that I Am God”: Christianity and Leisure

  • Paul Heintzman


This chapter reviews biblical themes (e.g., Sabbath, rest) that have been the foundation of historical Christian understandings of leisure, as well as other biblical themes (e.g., festivals, feasts, dance, hospitality, friendships, eating practices in Luke’s gospel, work and enjoyment in Ecclesiastes) and specific biblical verses (e.g., Ps. 46:10, 2 Thess. 3:10) relevant to leisure. The evolution of the classical Greek view of leisure as it was Christianized and adapted by Augustine, Aquinas, the contemplative life of monastic culture, and in Pieper’s Leisure: The basis of culture is traced. The activity view of leisure predominant after the Reformation, especially in Luther’s and Calvin’s theology, and Puritanism is explored. More recent Christian perspectives on free time, holistic, and psychological state of mind concepts of leisure are presented. Finally, the chapter reviews empirical research on the leisure of Christians and research on leisure and spirituality that confirms principles found in classic Christian spiritual writings.


Christianity Leisure Sabbath Rest Christian history Spirituality Biblical themes Work 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Heintzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Leisure StudiesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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