A Slothful Repugnance at Being
For the last few years I’ve been thinking about a deadly sin, acedia or sloth. Friends and family joke that I must be working or studying whenever I happen to catch a ball game or invent some reason to avoid painting the shed. Others promise to read my newly released book on sloth when they can muster up enough energy or get around to it.
Fair jokes, I’ll grant, especially those told by my wife. (I think she was joking.)
Sloth is not really about laziness, though, or at least it would be odd to identify acedia as a besetting sin of our age, culpable for pornography addiction and the decadent future of America, if that were so. Whatever else we are, we aren’t lazy.
As I explain in Acedia and Its Discontents: Metaphysical Boredom in an Empire of Desire, laziness is a relatively new interpretation of acedia...