Item description for Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder by Richard Winter...
Overview Richard Winter uses the latest historical, physiological and psychological research to probe the nature, causes and effects of boredom. He explores why some people are more likely to get bored than others, the indifference and the loss of meaning among youth, the attraction of extreme sports, how advertising promotes apathy, and the link between boredom and addictions to violence and pornography. Not satisfied with mere description and analysis, Winter offers practical ways to counteract boredom by learning to live with passion and wonder.
Publishers Description Though we have hundreds of entertainment options today--video games, the Internet, CD and MP3 players, home entertainment centers, sporting events, megamalls, movie theaters, and even robotic toys--Western culture is battling an insidious disease. It's an epidemic of boredom. Intrigued by this "deadness of soul," Richard Winter uses the latest historical, physiological and psychological research to probe the nature, causes and effects of boredom. He explores why some people are more likely to get bored than others the indifference and the loss of meaning among youth the attraction of extreme sports how advertising promotes apathy the link between boredom and addictions to violence and pornography Not satisfied with mere description and analysis, Winter also offers practical ways to counteract boredom by learning to live with passion and wonder. So don't just turn on the TV, surf all the available channels and complain "there's nothing on." Instead, read this book
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Studio: IVP Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.42" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2012
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN 0830823085 ISBN13 9780830823086
Availability 0 units.
More About Richard Winter
Dr. Richard Winter, husband and father of four grown children, is a psychotherapist, counselor and professor of practical theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. A native of Britain, he trained in medicine and psychiatry in England and has lived in the United States since 1992. His books include Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment and Perfecting Ourselves to Death.
Reviews - What do customers think about Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder?
Good Book Jul 10, 2006
This book is a great psychological and theological exploration of the nature and causes of boredom, along with some tips about how Christians can beat it. There's a lot of really great material in here -- modern Americans are so bored not because we don't have enough to entertain us but because we have too much to entertain us; our consumer culture and the ubiquity of advertising has trained us to always move on to the next great thing, but has also attenuated our ability to appreciate these greater and greater thrills, leading us to seek ever more astounding highs and novelty in extreme sports and hardcore pornography; a simple solution to this malaise of boredom is available to Christians if we cultivate gratefulness and a spirit of fascination with all things, even repetition.
I really loved this book because it didn't just take the theological, Ecclesiastes, all-is-vanity-just-love-it-and-live-it approach to the topic, and neither did it take the literary, longing-for-longing, weight-of-glory, God-is-younger-than-us tack. Instead, Winter weighed in with a fantastic and fascinating psychological analysis, while still infused with all the rigor and magic of the theological and literary approaches. Great stuff!
Boredom: diagnosed and treated Aug 20, 2004
"Despite its extraordinary variety of diversions and resources, its frenzy for spectacles and its feverish pursuit of entertainment, America is bored. The abundance of efforts made in the United States to counter boredom have defeated themselves, and boredom has become the disease of our time" (13).
If this is true and boredom is the disease of our time, then Richard Winter is the physician who has studied boredom's pathology and holds out a promising cure. Beginning with an investigation into the causes of boredom, Winter commences by considering how understimulation, repetition and a sense of disconnection all contribute to boredom. He differentiates two varieties of boredom (short-term and longer-term boredom). And then, in light of what appears to be a marked increase in boredom in recent years, considers how an increase in leisure time, a dependence upon technology, and the overstimulation produced by the hydra of the entertainment and advertising industries, each contribute to complacency and relate to boredom.
Throughout the mid chapters, Winter angles his investigation to include further psychological and historical factors. Why some people are more likely to get bored than others is the first question to be discussed. Distinguishing between boredom, depression and the apathy of grief follows. This second topic is dealt with at greater length with the reader being treated to a `trip back in time' in order to compare the contemporary phenomena of boredom with experiences of boredom in medieval times. While the author appears concerned that his readers may not want to traverse the ages with him, I am sure most will; especially as it is here that boredom is best described and we are brought face-to-face with the phenomena of boredom and its various guises.
In the later chapters, Winter relates the rise of boredom to three things: "the decline of Christianity, the sense of entitlement to happiness and an emphasis on subjective experience or on following my inner desires" (87). He also treats the fruits of boredom, which can be summarized as sexual addiction, increased aggression, and risk taking. Most importantly of all, our good physician prescribes a number of biblically grounded and practically oriented ways of counteracting boredom. This culminates in a final chapter entitled "Why Get Up in the Morning?" A gentle and gracious reminder of our need to respond to God and to look to Him as the One who not only enables us to patiently endure our moments of frustration and boredom, but who transforms us and provides us with a passion for living.
While Winter's book leaves room for much more to be said, yet it remains a useful introduction to what I believe will be one of the major pastoral concerns of the 21st century. As a primer on boredom's causes and consequences, this work has two main strengths. First, it helps us to comprehend some of the complexities of the society we now live in. For as Winter ably demonstrates, boredom is a fascinating lens through which to view and better understand certain attitudes and activities that are the hallmarks of contemporary culture. Second, this work extends real help to pastors and counselors as they increasingly identify and deal with the spiritual havoc that boredom can produce in the lives of those whom they shepherd and serve. Indeed, those alert to the ways in which boredom robs us of our appetite for God will find suggestions for awakening and enlivening bored people, as well as clues to orienting the gospel message to those whose hearts are heavy, souls are numb and whose rote response is... `whatever'.
Winsomely written and a fresh reminder of the applicability of biblical truth to everyday concerns, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment is a useful book that will spark discussion and hopefully spawn further work in this area.
more theology than psychology Feb 29, 2004
I bought this book on a whim because I liked the title. It began well, outlining some basic psychological research on boredom with a very accessible writing style. The book examines the nature of boredom, different varieties of boredom, and how personality is related to boredom. There is even a little personality test you can take to see how prone to boredom you are. I believe that the author is on target when he says that overstimulation and an excess of easy entertainment are the primary causes of boredom in our culture.
Unfortunately, about halfway through the book, there is a dramatic shift in tone where the author abruptly begins to relate everything to his Christian world view. This was a surprise because the cover and the information on the back of the book say nothing about religion, though it is clear that this was the purpose of the book all along. I felt rather deceived, as if I had just let a missionary into my home under false pretense. We are told that a meaningless life causes boredom, and that the only way to avoid meaninglessness is through religious faith. The author fails to convince at this point, especially after his previous discussion of the problem of boredom in early Christian monks! On very little argument or evidence, humanistic philosophies and "tolerance" are blasted as causing boredom and the rest of society's ills. Hmm, where have I heard this before?
The book ends with recommendations that borrow heavily from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's research on flow and the statement that we need to "serve" God if we are going to have a good and meaninful life. I consider this book more propaganda than anything else, and cannot recommend it.
J. Corey Butler
Fine Analysis of Boredom Hit from Many Angles Apr 15, 2003
Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment by Richard Winter (IVP, 2002) reviewed by Ed Vasicek
Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment discusses the rise of boredom in modern culture from a Christian perspective. Winter, a Psychiatrist and theology professor at Covenant Seminary (in St. Louis) looks at the subject of boredom from various angles.
He discusses the two main types of boredom (short term and the more permanent type), analyzes trends in modern culture that nurture boredom (over stimulation and constant entertainment), and how personality types make one more or less prone to boredom. He also documents how boredom has been viewed over the ages.
Winter analyzes how post-modern philosophy contributes toward indifference and meaninglessness, how boredom encourages addictive behavior or risk taking, and then offers a battle plan for the Christian to tackle boredom through six steps (remember the big picture, delight in the simple and ordinary, cultivate wonder, develop strong interests, actively engage instead of passively expecting others to initiate).
Some quotables include: "Boredom is a subtle form of negative thinking...", "...to the contemporary mind, goodness and beauty often seem boring and unstimulating...", and, "experience and intuition are supported by research that has found links between boredom and all sorts of negative states of mind and behavior..."
Much of the material in this book can be expanded upon by reading these three volumes, "Bowling Alone", "Natural Prozac", and "The Overspent American." I think this is a fine book, though a bit boring at times (sorry, but it is true!). Good stuff nonetheless.
Insightful analysis of our daily search for stimulation Mar 17, 2003
After having the privilege of hearing Dr. Winter speak on this and other subjects this January, I was eager to read his latest written work. This book appealed to me on many levels: As someone who knows very little about psychology, it provided a good primer on the root causes of boredom; as a parent-to-be, it left me with plenty to chew on (I especially enjoyed the treatment of the effect of delayed gratification in children); and as a student of Popular Culture, it encouraged me to more carefully consider my diet of information and entertainment. Perhaps most importantly, however, this book challenged me to seek out the day-to-day beauty and wonder to be found in creation. I highly recommend this well-written work.