Princeton, NJ, November 10, 2010–Google “happiness” and more than sixty-six million results pop up instantly; finding that actual happiness takes much longer. Now, a Princeton Theological Seminary professor argues that true happiness comes to those who delight in God.

ellen charryDr. Ellen Charry’s new book, God and the Art of Happiness, explores the premise that divine guidance is for happiness, and that when people rejoin happiness and goodness, they flourish.

Available from Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (www.eerdmans.com) in early December, God and the Art of Happiness is written for the theologically engaged. Charry, the Seminary’s Margaret W. Harmon Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, offers scholars, teachers, and religious leaders a theological examination of obedience to God that promotes the enjoyment of life.

“A theological notion of happiness, rather than an emotional notion, lets people flourish morally, spiritually, and socially. Abiding by the way of life God enjoins in scripture prepares us for wise and beautiful living,” said Charry.

Her sequel to By the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine (Oxford University Press, 1997), the book probes biblical and theological visions of happiness and the joy that comes with enabling creation’s flourishing. “When you study writings of early Christian theologians, you can reclaim lost Christian teachings on human flourishing. You see how we can flourish when God and we delight in one another,” she said.

Art of HappinessA respected theologian and author, Charry has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary since 1997 and is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. She was on the Pursuit of Happiness Project of Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. Her other books are Inquiring after God: Classic and Contemporary Readings (Blackwell, 2000) and Franz Rosenzweig on the Freedom of God (Wyndham Hall Press, 1987). God and the Art of Happiness is available at the pre-publication price of $23.10 on amazon.com. Once published, the book sells for $35 online (www.eerdmans.com, www.amazon.com, etc.) and at the Seminary’s campus bookstore, Cokesbury, the Theological Book Agency.

Princeton Theological Seminary (www.ptsem.edu) was founded in 1812, the first seminary established by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.  It is the largest Presbyterian Seminary in the country, with more than 500 students in six graduate degree programs.