Smith, James K.A. Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2009.
Chapter 1, “Homo Liturgicus: The Human Person as Lover” pp. 39-73.
In this chapter Smith considers the idea “that behind every pedagogy is a philosophical anthropology, a model or picture of the human person” (Smith 2009, 40). We are, Smith says, primarily driven by what we love, rather than what we think. To demonstrate this idea, Smith considers various historical views of anthropology (Smith 2009, 41). A rationalist view of man as a thinking being will collapse because the content of thought becomes irrelevant (Smith 2009, 41). A construct which says we are primarily based on belief pushes against rationalism but falls into the same traps. The object of belief is still some sort of idea. It also separates belief from activity, though humans tend to show belief through action (Smith 2009, 44). Smith prefers to articulate an anthropology of the human defined in terms of what he loves (Smith 2009, 46). He illustrates humans first as intentional beings, who think and act with goals (Smith 2009, 48). When we live in this world, we follow some sort of desires toward an end (Smith 2009, 51). The greatest difference between people, then, is what we desire (Smith 2009, 52). That desire, Smith asserts, aims at an end, a telos, which is a picture, rather than a list of abstract values (Smith 2009, 53). This desire for an end, he says, is carried out by our actions (Smith 2009, 55). Our habits are automatic activities, moving us toward our goals. Building habits, Smith says, is a highly physical, bodily task (Smith 2009, 58). Much of our life is built on largely unconscious or subconscious activities (Smith 2009, 60). At the same time, Smith briefly says, our life is carried out in a social context which is built on some sort of communal goals and habits (Smith 2009, 62). Education, then, becomes a process of shaping attitudes through the context of habits (Smith 2009, 64). The Christian life also takes on habits developed through the rhythm of Christian worship (Smith 2009, 68). Likewise, institutions have a rhythm, a desire, and a goal. It is futile to educate counter to those natural identities (Smith 2009, 72).