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Is loving later life possible? In our youth-obsessed culture, nobody enjoys growing old. We normally fear our own aging and generally do not love old people -- they remind us that death is inescapable, the body frail, and social status transitory. In Loving Later Life Frits de Lange shows how an ethics of love can acknowledge and overcome this fear of aging and change our attitude toward the elderly.
De Lange reframes the biblical love command this way: “We must care for the aging other as we care for our own aging selves.” We can encourage positive self-love by embracing life as we age, taking good care of our own aging bodies, staying good friends with ourselves, and valuing the last season of life. When we cultivate this kind of self-love, we are released from our aversion to growing old and set free to care about others who are aging -- our parents, our relatives, and others in their final season of life.
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)|
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-- former Vice President for Academic Affairs, AARP
"This is the book we have been waiting for -- a vision of positive aging that goes beyond the valorization of youth and instead celebrates the deepest values of dignity and abundant human life. A masterly theological treatment of ethics and aging."
Christine D. Pohl
-- author of Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition
"Deeply insightful and thought-provoking, this book tackles the most difficult aspects of frail old age with courage, clarity, and compassion."
-- coeditor of Growing Old in Christ
"Drawing on a profound account of love of self and neighbor, de Lange writes about the challenges associated with growing old in a way that is not only philosophically deep but also filled with wisdom that will help those like myself who are not sure how to grow old. This is a beautiful book."
-- author of Dementia: Living in the Memories of God
"In this deep, thoughtful, and creatively pastoral book, Frits de Lange lays out an ethics and a theology of love focusing on those among us who are frail and elderly. He opens up a powerful space for reflection on what love means and what it should look like, paving the way for modes of care that are both loving and faithful."
-- author of Should We Live Forever? The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging
"There is no lack of books about aging. But what Frits de Lange offers goes well beyond discussion of the phenomenon. He develops a theological and ethical framework within which to think about aging -- both our own and that of others. Drawing on an exceptionally wide range of literature, de Lange will provide readers of various persuasions with much food for thought."
Keith G. Meador
-- Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University
"Frits de Lange explores the ethics of growing old with theological insight and hopefulness. His challenge to care well for ourselves and others in the midst of our finitude and increasing frailty and vulnerability -- and to care with love and without fear -- is a clarion call in our current age."
William L. Randall
-- Department of Gerontology, St. Thomas University
"In this soulful work of theological reflection, Frits de Lange explores the spiritual complexity of deep old age in ways that gerontologists in general tend to shy away from doing. . . . Especially appealing about de Langes ethics of aging is, first, its reminder that advanced old age is a once-in-a-life adventure and, second, its insistence that we love our own aging selves."
Sharing the Practice
"As a pastor and as an aging human being I found this to be a compelling and challenging read, a book that I would strongly recommend my colleagues to read carefully. . . . I found this book to be a needed tonic for my own ministry. . . . De Lange offers wisdom and guidance for the journey toward old age that is rooted and grounded in love. We are blessed to have been given this gift!"