|"With that focus on our sinfulness and penchant for evil, it made it also difficult to even talk about happiness as a goal of life, as if happiness would compete with obedience to God and submission to the will of God."|
—Ellen T. Charry
The next interview features Ellen Charry who has written a book articulating a theology of happiness and trying to understand why happiness is often viewed with suspicion in Christian circles. She first provides a caveat that the notion of happiness she is concerned with is not the glib, shallow and ephemeral feeling rooted in excitement that is everywhere in society today, but a deeper feeling that is rooted in the experience of all of life as a participation in the goodness of Creation and of being. She notes that for most of the Christian tradition, there has not been as much discussion of happiness as there has been of hope; most reflection has tended to push off happiness towards the eschaton for a number of reasons Charry elucidates. Finally, Charry comments on the division of the true from the good and the beautiful in Christian thinking and intellectual formation embodied in the separation of theology and "practical theology."
God and the Art of Happiness (Eerdmans, 2010)