FoC 172: Aggressively Happy with Joy Clarkson


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Maybe, like Haley and Christy, your family is recovering from Covid. Maybe January hasn’t turned out how you hoped in one way or another. Maybe all the things that are going very wrong make it hard to find joy. Is it possible to cultivate happiness in times such as these? Our guest today, Dr. Joy Clarkson thinks so!

Joy is a podcaster, scholar, and author. She completed her PhD in theology at the University of St Andrews, where she researched the intersection between literature, moral formation, and devotional practice. She hosts Speaking with Joy, a podcast exploring art, theology, and culture, and writes for publications like Christianity Today, Mere Orthodoxy, and Transpositions. Recently she became the Books and Culture Editor at Plough Quarterly. Her debut book Aggressively Happy: A Realist’s Guide to Believing in the Goodness of Life is available for pre-order and she lives in Oxford, tweets too much, and is probably drinking a cup of Yorkshire Gold Tea at this very moment!

In this episode we’re talking about the difference between toxic positivity and cultivating real joy. We talk about the hilarious story behind Joy’s book title and how to make room for feelings of grief, learning to be content with the simple things, and opening ourselves up to the vulnerability that real life demands. Do we believe that at heart of the heart of the universe there is goodness, truth, and beauty? If so, can our determination to find and share joy be an act of defiance against everything that seeks to destroy that goodness? Dr. Clarkson has so much wisdom to share (and she’s so fun)! So grab a cup of hot cocoa and be encouraged by the good word she shares in this episode.

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Connect with Joy:

England Trip!

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