In Leisure: The Basis of Culture, Pieper claims that without divine worship, “leisure become laziness and work inhuman.” Throughout this whole section of the book, my basic principles were tested. I ended up disagreeing with many claims made.
In this passage, Pieper posits that one can only have leisure on the basis of divine worship and compares it to the celebration of a festival. He states, “There is no such thing as a festival “without gods.”” He then brings up the ‘day of rest’ in the Bible and makes the point that historically, time off work has been reserved for worship.
The main difficulty I had in reading this was that it challenged my belief that a life can be completely full without divine worship. Having grown up Catholic and having also been exposed to a variety of religions, I feel confident in this belief. The fact that Pieper brought up religion also confused me as I was reading. If leisure is work being done for its own sake, why bring in the idea of a higher cause? Then, isn’t work being done for a different sake? I understand the belief that divine worship can enrich experiences of leisure, but I was left feeling confused by this passage.