The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 9, No 1 (2021)

Book review: Schweizer, Bernard (2019). Christianity and the Triumph of Humor: From Dante to David Javerbaum. New York: Routledge.

Steven Gimbel


Bernard Schweizer’s new book „Christianity and the Triumph of Humor” examines the relationship between Christian theology and pronouncements of the acceptability of humor.  While some theologians rule out the permissibility of humor altogether, others seek to allow „good humour,” however Schweizer contends that there is no such line that can be drawn.  As such, the relationship becomes more philosophically interesting.  As we take an historical look, there is an increasingly liberal attitude for humor, allowing more and more into the sphere of acceptable objects of joking.



Aquinas, T. (1274). Summa Theologiae. (trans.) Laurence Shapcote and John Mortenson. (Lander: Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012).

Freud, S. (1905). Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, (ed.) James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1955), Volume VIII, pp. 1–247.

Kierkegaard, S. (1846). Concluding Unscientific Postscript. (trans.) Howard and Edna Hong. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).