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A Theological and Historical Reflection on Boredom

February 12, 2014

In his book Still Bored In A Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder (Inter varsity,2002) Richard Winter a professor at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis presents a penetrating examination of the idea of boredom so prevalent in the basic fabric of our cultural thinking. The value of the book is the rich diversity of disciplines including historical, theological, psychological and physiological which are mined to provide insights into the causes and effects of boredom. This means such diverse subjects as entertainment, marketing, sports, pornography and addictions are all addressed. The entire book is full of great quotes and solid research but of particular interest was the section on pages 50 and 51 which dealt with the famous ” marshmallow experiment at Stanford University and the resulting insights on delayed gratification. That section alone is worth the cost of the book and the investment in reading it. Some of the pop cultural references have aged a bit in 12 years but this book will provide a valuable foundation and jumping off point for a life time of personal reflection and ministry application on the issue of “deadness of soul”.. A limited amount of practical solutions are offered but they should stimulate additional personal application and reflection.

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