Joseph Pieper defines leisure from two perspectives of humanity

Joseph Pieper defines leisure from two perspectives of humanity







Joseph Pieper defines leisure from two perspectives of humanity. From a mental perspective, he states that leisure is an attitude of the mind, and from a spiritual perspective, it is a spiritual condition that allows people to perceive the reality of their world. Leisure is an important time for humans, as it allows them to be in a state of doing nothing, while contemplating about the nature of their God. According to Pieper, in chapter five, leisure is a practice of resting. He states, “To rest from work means that time is reserved for divine worship: certain days and times are set aside and transferred to “the exclusive property of the gods (Pieper, 2009).” Pieper associates leisure with worship. Christians believe that, and have been instructed in the Bible to rest on the seventh day, as this is the day that was selected by God to rest. On the seventh day of each week, people should spend their time doing nothing else but worshiping God.

Pieper felt that leisure is an important part of the culture. The most successful people, i.e., individuals who are able to work effectively are the ones that realize the importance of leisure in their lives. People who work on a regular basis tend to experience a reduced ability to perform at a high level. To argue in support of the importance of leisure in the society, one has to remind people, the origin of leisure, i.e., it was conceived during the Creation period, and it is a gift from God to man, to worship and celebrate God on this day (Pieper, 2009). For man to fully rest, and revitalize, and get ready for another week of work, one must be willing to set aside a day, where they will do nothing but worship and celebrate God. This should not be a day where a person gets to do their weekly shopping, and catch up with friends.

To re-orient education towards the basis of this leisure entails not studying on the Sabbath day. A student should create a study plan for the six days of the week (Sensus Fidelium, 2016). However, on the seventh day, he or she should not engage in any academic activity. The student should reserve the seventh day of the week to worship God, and engage in a state of doing nothing.

The significance of leisure as perceived by Pieper is that on the seventh day, which to me is Sunday, I should not engage in the activities that I have been doing. On Sunday is the day I seek to catch up with my friends, or complete the unfinished assignments, or tasks of the week that has ended (Pieper, 2009). However, after reading this book, I will plan my Sundays to rest as is expected. I will go to church in the morning, and for the rest of the day, seek to read and watch sermons, which will revitalize my spirit and strengthen my resolve as a Christian, and I believe re-vitalize my physical strength for the coming six days of the week.


Pieper, J. (2009). Leisure: The basis of culture. Ignatius Press.

Sensus Fidelium. (September 16, 2016). Leisure: The Basis of Culture ~ Rev Scalia. YouTube. Available at