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Ethics and the Daily Speed of Life

In her book The Sabbath World, Judith Shulevitz writes:

We all know what it feels like to give short shrift to ourselves, our families, and our children, not to mention the stranger in our midst. It feels disgusting…Too busy to attend to our own needs, we lack sympathy for the needs of people who seem less busy than we are. That, too, has consequences. Before long, the underemployed becomethe unemployable, then the menacing mob.

The Sabbath – God’s claim against our time – implies that time has an ethical dimension…

She goes on to describe a 1973 sociological study of Princeton Theological Seminary students that suggests that the most important factor in determining whether or not someone will act like a Good Samaritan is not personality but whether or not that person is in a hurry. “The study made it hard not to conclude, said [researchers] Darley and Batson, ‘that ethics becomes a luxury as the speed of our daily lives increases.'”

There are important implications here for Slow Church.


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