Monday, April 23, 2012

Humor and Christian Spirituality

As noted in my last post, April is National Humor Month. I have heard statements about humor and Christianity for nearly all my adult life and the avowal that the Devil has no sense of humor. Maybe I'll look these up for sources, but for now, I'll point out a new reference work you might have, The Dictionary of Christian Spiritualty (Zondervan, 2011). Nestled between "Humility" and "Hannah Hurnard"is a short signed article on humor.  The next to last paragraph reminds us "Humor ought to be neither cheap, nor cruel, nor ignorant. Instead humor in the Christian life should signal spiritual health.  It is a sign of trust when we are able to see the mirth and delight in the world, and a sign of humility when we are able to laugh at ourselves.
Creaturly humor...has a long history in tye Christian tradition. Prophetic humor also has an important place. Prophetic humor slips behind our defenses to flash its blade of critique. This can serve several redemptive purposes: enabling a distressed group to speak truth to power, deflating self-righteousness and pomposity, and exposing follies."  Debra Rienstra. "Humor" pp. 515.

She also mentions many great Christian writiers such as C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Anne Lamott who have used humor in a literary context.

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