Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Gregg Borror, DMin
Eric Peterson, DMin
Leonard I. Sweet, PhD
The vice of acedia is one of the greatest challenges the church is currently facing. Acedia lies at the root of indifference, apathy, idleness, and a lack of engagement in the life of a community of faith. Paradoxically, acedia also manifests as dutiful, distracted service that seeks to maintain status quo or personal preferences. Adding to the complexity further, acedia will also produce an overwhelming desire to leave one’s faith community for any other place that promises to meet one’s needs or provide a more hospitable environment for one’s growth.
The first step that must be undertaken against this forgotten vice is to describe acedia, name the primary ways it is attacking the local church, and identify the way scripture portrays its effects. This initial exploration is essential to the church’s recovery because of the anonymity acedia currently enjoys. In order to begin to recover from the symptoms of acedia, the church must first be able to accurately name and diagnose acedia.
Prescribing a remedy for the vice of acedia will begin with a description of the teleological, teachable, and habitual nature of virtue. From this basic foundation a framework for combatting the vice of acedia and cultivating the virtue of charity will be constructed. The principle components of this framework include a narrative approach to forming telos and identity, a working understanding of habit and habit formation, and a practical introduction to the practices and habits that can rescue from acedia and cultivate friendship with God. Ultimately it is the implementation of a series of practices and habits that will enable the church to equip her members to live in the union and friendship with God and one another we have been designed for, that has been frustrated and destroyed by the vicious effects of acedia.
Sedore, Jason, "Acedia in the Local Church: Cultivating the Virtue of Charity as a Remedy for the Vice of Acedia" (2020). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 387.