Ageing and faith: trajectories across the lifespan

Peter G. Coleman, Marie A. Mills and John H. Spreadbury

in Belief and ageing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424600
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301530 | DOI:
Ageing and faith: trajectories across the lifespan

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This chapter examines the issue of spiritual development with age. It argues that if it is true that people's spiritual needs intensify with age, this should be better recognised and catered for by religious as well as other bodies concerned with older people's well-being. As it is, the spiritual needs of older people tend to be rather neglected, not least by religious ministers, who can appear sometimes over-focused on evangelisation to younger people. It notes that for some people religious belief and practice does become important or re-emerge. But loss of faith and disillusionment with religious ministry seem to have been characteristic of many people entering their 70s and 80s in the changing British society of the 1980s. Case studies of various types of trajectories of belief set these religious histories in the context of actual life experience.

Keywords: spiritual development; ageing; faith; British society; life experience; evangelisation; younger people

Chapter.  9388 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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