Toward a Viable Piety

Martha Myers

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1983

Issue: Piety (Vol. 3, No 2, Spring, 1983)

What is piety? A good, simple, working definition is that piety is Christian faith in practice. If theology is Christian faith in theory, then piety is Christian faith as it is lived out in the concreteness of everyday human life. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad. None of us would want to recommend a Christian faith that was all theory and no practice. Yet, when it comes to thinking about what specific shape Christian faith in practice might take, most of us are a bit awkward, hesitant, unsure of ourselves, and afraid of being made fun of. In this essay we shall try to consider three issues: first, how Christians across the centuries have found ways to express their faith in daily life; second, how we have come to our present state of awkwardness about piety, or Christian faith in practice; and finally, how we can begin to move beyond this awkwardness into an approach that is more helpful for all of us.

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