Losing Our Need to Find Ourselves: David Zahl
David Zahl's recent book, Seculosity, is a reminder that our constantly busy lives are not necessarily the "life of abundance" that Jesus promised to believers.
At the heart of our current moment lies a universal yearning, writes Zahl, not to be happy or respected so much as enough--what religions call "righteous." To fill the void left by religion, we look to all sorts of everyday activities--from eating and parenting to dating and voting--for the identity, purpose, and meaning once provided on Sunday morning.
In our striving, we are chasing a sense of enoughness. But it remains ever out of reach, and the effort and anxiety are burning us out. Seculosity takes a thoughtful yet entertaining tour of American "performancism" and its cousins, highlighting both their ingenuity and mercilessness, all while challenging the conventional narrative of religious decline. Zahl unmasks the competing pieties around which so much of our lives revolve, and he does so in a way that's at points playful, personal, and incisive. Ultimately he brings us to a fresh appreciation for the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder.
David Zahl is the founder and director of Mockingbird Ministries, editor-in-chief of the popular Mockingbird website, and cohost of The Mockingcast. He and his family live in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he also serves on the staff of Christ Episcopal Church. Zahl is the author of A Mess of Help: From the Crucified Soul of Rock N' Roll and coauthor of Law and Gospel: A Theology for Sinners (and Saints).