Leisure and reformation theology: An analysis of the impact of the Protestant Reformation on the perception and use of leisure, 1500--1700 AD

Date of Completion

January 2002


Religion, History of|Theology|Recreation




The ecclesial and civil outcomes of the Protestant Reformation relative to the perception and use of leisure in Europe, between the years 1500–1700AD, are presented. The Protestant movement regarded leisure, or free time, as a threat to salvation and social control, requiring a prescriptive approach to ensure its proper use. The study examines the writings of the Reformers, and the subsequent civil and ecclesial actions of their communities, regarding the use leisure. Reaction to these teachings by the populace are noted. Also considered are the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church prior to, and as a result of, the Reformation. Information from these sources, and current writings relative to the topic, are included in the study. While the relationship between work and leisure and religion and work, have been studied, the relationship between religion and leisure has not received much attention by scholars. ^