|Publication Date: 23 Oct 2008|
|Series: New Library of Pastoral Care|
|Page Count: 192|
|Author: James Woodward|
‘What we must try and do is to befriend the elderly stranger within ourselves.’ These words, spoken by a Roman Catholic nun and quoted in Valuing Age (James Woodward, SPCK), echoes throughout this detailed, practical and thoughtful book which carefully and clearly unpacks many of our views, prejudices, conceptions and fears about ageing. Each of the 17 chapters covers specific topics such as society’s views of ageing, theories and images of ageing, health and well-being, memory, spirituality and worship, intimacy, learning, retirement, social policy, a theology of ageing and ageing successfully. Many of the chapters begin with a selection of reflections by older people and each one ends with a series of questions quietly probing the reader’s thoughts about growing older and their own relationships with seniors. Subtly and succinctly Woodward challenges the prevailing ageism that exists in both society and many churches, while also allowing the personal contributions to demonstrate how both the task of growing old and that of accompanying those in the later stages of life can be a deeply humbling experience.