Wednesday 12 October 2011

Ellen T. Charry on God and the Art of Happiness

Ellen T. Charry, ‘God and the Art of Happiness’, Theology Today 68, 3 (2011), 238-52.

One of my summer holiday books was Ellen Charry’s God and the Art of Happiness (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), so I was interested to see the latest Theology Today carries an essay by her on the same topic.

For a limited period of time, it’s available for free – linked to from here.

This is the abstract:

‘Christians are skittish talking about happiness because it sounds selfish and shallow. But Christian theology has long engaged the topic on its own terms. While theology has been oriented toward eschatological happiness, the Bible offers a temporal teaching of happiness for individuals and communities in obedience to non-voluntarist divine commands that foster individual and communal flourishing. The Hebrew ‘‘ashrey’’ is the first word of the Psalter. It expresses the fulfilling and satisfying life lived in covenant faithfulness to divine commands that is self-enhancing and enables creation to flourish. Asherism is a way of life that enables God to enjoy creation and us to enjoy God. It is an offering in Christian ethics that mediates between the self-sacrificial teaching of agapism and the atheological offering of eudaemonism.’

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