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Work in the Life of Grace

Massam, Katharine (2013) Work in the Life of Grace. In: Immense, Unfathomed, Unconfined: The Grace of God in Creation, Church and Community. Essays in Honour of Norman Young. Uniting Academic Press, Melbourne, pp. 322-338. ISBN 9781743240465

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Abstract

This chapter explores the place of ‘work’ in Christian approaches to holiness. It reflects on understandings of work and leisure in Australia over time, and moves to consider the connection between contemplation and action in Christian life, and on what it might mean to take a ‘gracious’ stance in the midst of many tasks. It explores the significance of work in the letters of Paul, Luke’s presentation of the household of Bethany, and the ancient monastic understanding of ‘acedia’. Recognising with Thomas Merton that most Christians ‘have no choice but to seek and find God in a busy world’, the paper argues that an authentic understanding of grace underpins a perspective in which work, rest, and leisure are all dimensions of the steady sanctification of time, and the key task of a Christian is be ‘free for God’. It suggests that innovative companies in Australia's past, such as Fletcher Jones and MacRobertson Chocolates, valued workers for more than the tasks performed and signals the need for wider research in this field.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: work, grace, Australia, acedia, Paul, labour, workplace relations
Fields of Research: 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950407 Social Ethics
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950504 Understanding Europe's Past
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Church History
A - Humanities, general
D - Spirituality and Spiritual Direction
College/Association with University of Divinity: UFT-UCTC: United Faculty of Theology - Uniting Church Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Katharine Massam
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2014 03:07
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2014 03:07
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1246

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