Eutrapelia

Eutrapelia

Eutrapelia is an old, neglected human virtue identified by Aristotle that can lend understanding to the quality of authentic sabbath play. It derives from eutrepo, “to turn well’ It is a virtue reflecting mobility of soul, one that is able to turn to lovely, bright, relaxing things without losing authentic self in them. It is a capacity to turn deeds or words into relaxation. Eutrapelia lies between the debauched buffoon and the heavily serious boor. Freeing this virtue in sabbath time frees a quality of the image ¬†of God in us. It is that quality of end-in-itself joy that expresses the nature of God’s loving, which has no ulterior motive of any kind, In Proverbs we read of God’s personified wisdom:

Then I was beside him [God], like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race [human children].

Proverbs 8:30-31

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