November 30, 2008

Fr. Christopher Jamison's New Book On Simpliciity Gets Media Play By Taking On Disney as Promoting Materialism and Greed - Is He Right?

Over in England, Christopher Jamison is a Benedictine monk known as the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, and he's a prominent figure in Catholic circles -- touted by many as the next Archbishop of Westminister. (You know, that Westminister.)

Jamison starred in a hit TV series on the BBC (The Monastery) and he's just come out with a new book that encourages people to live simply. The title? Finding Happiness.

In his book, Jamison offers advice in changing your lifestyle to one of simplicity by changing the way you think and upping your self-discipline. In fact, he argues that there are 8 thoughts that must be controlled to find happiness; they are:

anger
pride
gluttony
lust
greed
sloth or spiritual apathy
sadness
vanity.

Father Jamison isn't timid. He's boldly taken on the celebrity news media as helping people to become dissatisfied with their personal circumstances, encouraging envy. And, he's not stopped there.

Jamison is also getting a lot of news coverage for taking on Walt Disney's legacy. He argues that the current Disney conglomerate offers product that does have value (an example: Sleeping Beauty does give a lesson on good vs. evil) but Jamison decries the corporation for tying so many secondary products and services to its films - thereby encouraging the indoctrination of children into materialism and cultural greed.

For more on Jamison's position, check out the Telegraph's article, Disney accused by Catholic cleric of corrupting children's minds, and the quotes from one of his interviews in the Church Times, which includes this statement, where he is discussing Advent:

“We see Advent as a very seriously charged moment, in which we . . . refuse to behave as though the way to salvation is to spend more and to get into debt more, because that is what has got us into this trouble in the first place,” he said at the launch.

“The antidote to greed is waiting. It is not never shop,but shop less; not stand still, but go slower; but that is not what the politicians are going to tell us. The Chancellor is going to say ‘Spend like before.’ But that is what has got us into trouble in the first place.

“The economy is going through a readjustment, whether we like it or not. If we behave like we have in the last ten years, then we will just see another crisis. We have to work for an economy with a more solid foundation in order to skip the boom and bust. But the politicians have not done that.”

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