Aging, Spirituality, and Religion : A Handbook

Kimble, Melvin A., et. al., eds. Aging, Spirituality, and Religion : A Handbook. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1995.

The last half of the twentieth century has witnessed a demographic revolution as increasing numbers of people live longer and better lives. This circumstance has prompted scholars from the whole range of disciplines to study aging. Until recently, gerontologists failed to appreciate the ways spiritual yearnings and religious beliefs and practices influence later life. This book brought together fifty-five contributors--gerontologists interested in religion and spirituality with those in the religious sector interested in aging. The effort was to reach a broader audience beyond ordinary disciplinary boundaries. Part One addresses the lifespace of the older adult and his/her experience of spirituality and religion. Parts Two, Three, and Four draw attention to the fact that aging people often find the answers to critical questions (about the ends and meanings of life, for example) in communities of faith. These sections of the book look at clergy, corporate worship and education, and outreach. The central question asked is: How shall we care for and celebrate each other? Parts Five and Six deal with more theoretical issues. Theologians and social scientists offer perspectives on such questions as: How shall we understand the relation between the individual and the community of faith? Contributors include physicians, theologians, psychologists, social workers, clergy, and sociologists.