Embracing Life and Gathering Wisdom: Theological, Pastoral & Clinical Insights by Stephen Smith (Ed), Edwina Blair (Ed), Catherine Kleemann (Ed)



The book is the second volume in the Sydney College of Divinity Occasional Series. It takes a multi-disciplinary approach to ageing, dementia, retirement, and palliative care – seeking theological, pastoral and clinical insights into human flourishing in the last chapters of life.

In growing old we each share in the inevitable future of our humanity. Yet ageing is not to be feared. While it is a physical decay, it is also a theological aspiration – the journey of the created meeting their Creator.

The Christian approach to ageing is distinct when compared to a purely secular perspective. The secular view sees humans as a physiological machine that houses sentient awareness; however, the Christian view sees the human body as a carrier of an eternal spiritual being. While the physical shell is in decline, the soul is maturing and enduring.

Christians live with the conviction that people are ‘soul beings’ first, and physical beings second. Our soul integrates the interplay of physical, psychological, spiritual and social health, and is an inseparable companion to every breath we take. When we experience ageing the search for meaning that emanates from our soul is radically sharpened. This is God’s calling to us, an inevitable search for the sacred.



Embracing Life and Gathering Wisdom: Theological, Pastoral & Clinical Insights
(Occasional Series Vol 2)
Stephen Smith, Edwina Blair, Catherine Kleemann (Editors)

Paperback: 313 pages
Publisher: SCD Press
ISBN: 978-1-02583-19-7


PART 1 The Practice of Caring for the Ageing
Chapter 1 Daniel J. Fleming, Beyond the Medicalisation of Ageing
Chapter 2 Peter Carblis, Standards and Continuing Professional Development for Chaplains: Learning Pathways for Aged Care Chaplains. 
Chapter 3 Carol Flanagan & Jack Flanagan, In Providing Aged Care with Compassion and Respect, What Role can Spiritualty Play? 
PART 2 The Theology of Ageing 
Chapter 4 David James Hooker, Human Biological Ageing: Creation or Curse? Exploring Two Foundational Models 
Chapter 5 Michelle Eastwood, Theologies of Ageing: A Review of the Literature 
Chapter 6 Chris Swann, Karl Barth on the Dignity and Crown of Suffering: Reimagining the Fourth Age for Discipleship 
 PART 3 Holistic & Spiritual Care for the Ageing 
Chapter 7 Bruce Stevens, The Hidden Story: What Might be Missing in a Life Review? 
Chapter 8 Kirsty Beilharz, Theological, Pastoral and Clinical Insights into Human Flourishing at the End of Life: Music and Meaning in Dementia and De-Medicalising Palliative Care 
Chapter 9 Mavis Salt, Spiritual Care Needs in Illness, Dying and End-of-Life Choices 
PART 4 Ageing in Literature 
Chapter 10 James R. Harrison, Two Approaches to Ageing in Antiquity: Comparing Cicero’s De Senectute and Paul’s Intergenerational Relationships in Philemon and 1 Timothy 
Chapter 11 Doru Costache, Elders and Disciples in Egypt’s Early Monastic Literature. 
Chapter 12 Matthew Del Nevo, Old Age 



Additional information

Weight 0.490 kg
Dimensions 23 × 16 × 2 cm

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