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ERIC Number: ED312595
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Religious Instruction about Aging and Old Age. Synopsis.
Simmons, Henry C.
An analysis of the 102 entries, dated from 1975 to 1986, in the section on Religion of "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?: An Annotated GSA Bibliography of Aging and the Humanities" reveals three principal characteristics. First, with the exception of some literature on spiritual well-being, the material cannot be dated or sequenced on the basis of content, indicating that approaches to religion and aging are diffuse. The analysis reveals that only 3% of the authors had published three or more pieces and there was neither a group of authors in dialogue nor a coherent body of literature usually associated with an identifiable professional field. Second, spiritual well-being began as a concept rooted in dependence on God and relationship to a community of faith, became secularized, and emerged as a highly individual understanding of aging. This suggests that the term became both weaker and more individual over the 11-year span from 1975 to 1986. This shift is blamed on: the attempt by the 1981 White House Conference on Aging to broaden the base of support; a shift in the political scene; the use of the term in a more individual way causing it to become part of the prevailing cultural ethos; and the economic changes since the time the term was coined. Third, with few exceptions, meaning and value are spoken of in personal or individual ways rather than in dialogue with and grounded in collective systems, reinforcing the identification of meaning as an individual reality. Religious meaning, however, is socially constructed and must be socially supported. (NB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A