Chapter

Listening and enabling the sharing of beliefs and values in later life

Marie A. Mills, Peter Speck and Peter G. Coleman

in Belief and ageing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424600
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301530 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424600.003.0003
Listening and enabling the sharing of beliefs and values in later life

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This chapter shows that encouraging older people to speak about their beliefs and values is not always an easy task. These difficulties are due to a number of reasons. First, personal beliefs are perceived as private and are not generally discussed in everyday life. Second, reflexive testimony is rare. They may find it embarrassing unless the listener is patently interested in their search for meaning. Third, there is a need for instruments more sensitively suited to a British population to aid this work. Lastly, there is an evident need for consultation expressed by the many older people who commented on the religious and spiritual services they received from ministers in their Christian churches. This chapter explains that older people have much to offer in helping negotiate the inevitable changes in religious practices that occur with cultural and social development.

Keywords: older people; beliefs; reflexive testimony; British population; religious services; social services; Christian churches; religious practices

Chapter.  10852 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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