A new publication by James Woodward
Pastoral care and practical theology in the light of age and ageing are the focus of this book. It is written to help those involved in care, in a range of settings, to understand some of the pastoral questions and the issues that older people face. In particular it will attend to how the theories of age relate to our experience; and how experience might challenge and shape our theologies. Our shared commitment to this awareness of lifelong learning can help our ministry to be reflective and wise; it can broaden our imagination with sympathy.
The author has particular concern with the nature of theology as a practical discipline. It is never quite good enough for ministry to be only concerned with human experience. For as Christians we must ask how, in our lives, from within the richness and diversity of experience, we might live and practice our faith. How does our faith enable us to grow old? What particular theological questions emerge as we consider the process of getting older? In what way and to what extent is the Christian tradition a resource for our third or fourth age; for our living and our dying?
The theology in this book is practical without losing any of its challenges or contradictions. We need to keep on asking ‘What kind of God?’; ‘What does this mean for my faith?’; ‘How might I live more faithfully and hopefully?’
The text is grounded in the experience of older people: their hopes and fears; their problems and possibilities. And there are exercises to help reflection, at the end of each chapter.