Our understandings of both ageing and spirituality are changing rapidly in the twenty-first century, and grasping the significance of later life spirituality is now crucial in the context of extended longevity. Spiritual Dimensions of Ageing will inform and engage those who study or practise in all fields that relate to the lives of older people, especially in social, psychological and health-related domains, but also wherever the maintenance and development of spiritual meaning and purpose are recognised as important for human flourishing. Bringing together an international group of leading scholars across the fields of psychology, theology, history, philosophy, sociology and gerontology, the volume distils the latest advances in research on spirituality and ageing, and engages in vigorous discussion about how we can interpret this learning for the benefit of older people and those who seek to serve and support them.
Table of Contents
1. Spirited ageing Malcolm Johnson and Joanna Walker
Part I. The Spiritual Journey of Ageing:
2. Spirituality and ageing: yesterday, today and tomorrow Robert Atchley
3. Ageing and spirituality across faiths and cultures Ellizabeth MacKinlay
4. Stages of the soul: dreams and the coming of age Harry Moody
5. Aesop's Fables as spiritual touchstones Andrew Achenbaum
Part II. Cultures of the Spirit in Modernity:
6. Religion, belief and spirituality in old age: how they change Vern Bengtson and Malcolm Johnson
7. Ageing, ritual and social change Peter Coleman
8. Religious ritual and practice in older age Ellen Idler
9. New cultures of ageing Paul Higgs
Part III. Searching for Meaning in Later Life:
10. Religion, faith, belief and disbelief in old age: 'a full-hearted evensong' Susan Eisenhandler
11. Finding meaning and sustaining purpose in later life Albert Jewell
12. Spirituality, biographical review and biographical pain at the end of life Malcolm Johnson
13. Embracing contraries: the spiritual quest as a lifelong process Ronald Manheimer
Part IV. Meeting Spiritual Needs in Older Age:
14. Conversation matters Ann Morisy
15. Spiritual development in later life: a learning experience? Joanna Walker
16. Re-imagining the theology of age James Woodward
17. Pressing towards the finishing line: older people on the final lap Keith Albans.
About the Editors:
Malcolm Johnson is a Visiting Professor of Gerontology and End of Life Care at the University of Bath, and Emeritus Professor of Health and Social Policy at the University of Bristol. From 1984 to 1995 he was a Professor of Health and Social Welfare and the first Dean of the School of Health and Social Welfare at the Open University. His research interests include biographical studies, death and dying, and his major specialism, ageing and the lifespan. Of his fourteen books and over 160 monographs, chapters and articles, more than half relate to ageing. These include The Cambridge Handbook of Age and Ageing (2005). He is a former Secretary of the British Society of Gerontology and Founding Editor of the Cambridge international journal Ageing and Society.
Joanna Walker is currently engaged in postgraduate research on ageing and spirituality at the University of Southampton, following a career in adult education focused on older learners. Whilst a lecturer at the University of Surrey she led a government-funded project to improve the national quality of pre-retirement education by developing a resource centre, a post-graduate training scheme for practitioners, and publishing related books and papers. She chaired the Association for Education and Ageing (2005-12) and is the Associate Editor of its International Journal of Education and Ageing. She was an adviser to the Bishop of Guildford concerning adult education for fifteen years, until 2014. A common thread in her research and career has been a passion for older people's continuing development.
Malcolm Johnson, Joanna Walker, Robert Atchley, Ellizabeth MacKinlay, Harry Moody, Andrew Achenbaum, Vern Bengtson, Peter Coleman, Ellen Idler, Paul Higgs, Susan Eisenhandler, Albert Jewell, Ronald Manheimer, Ann Morisy, James Woodward, Keith Albans