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AQ-50954-13

Bethel College, Minnesota (St. Paul, MN 55112-6902)
Daniel Edgar Ritchie (Project Director: September 2012 to October 2015)
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "What Good Is Leisure?"

The development of a senior capstone course course on the question, What good is leisure?

The first principle of all action is leisure, wrote Aristotle. In his study of tribal societies, Durkheim found that individuals understood their social identity in the division between sacred and profane time. As Tocqueville wrote, Americans define themselves largely by work. Still, we spend significant time in voluntary associations, essential to a worthy culture. In this course, we will examine five responses to the question "What good is leisure"?, defining leisure as what we do apart from family duties and work. Leisure restores a balanced relation to time, is necessary for a liberal education; provides opportunities to create essential social capital; is a respite from work; is a commodity whose recreational products are marketed to satisfy individual preferences. Because everyone worries about the use of time, the course will have practical as well as philosophical applications.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Program:
Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Division:
Education Programs

Totals:
$23,089 (approved)
$22,218 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2013 – 5/31/2015