1st Edition

New Dimensions in Spirituality, Religion, and Aging

Edited By Vern Bengtson, Merril Silverstein Copyright 2019
    304 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    New Dimensions in Spirituality, Religion, and Aging expands the traditional focus of religiosity to include and evaluate recent research and discoveries on the role of secular spirituality in the aging process. Contributors examine the ways conventional religion and other forms of spirituality affect human development, health and longevity, and they demonstrate how myth-creation enables humans to make meaning in their lives. Taken together, the book points to further research to enhance current knowledge, approaches to care, and social policies.

    1. Emerging Developments in Spirituality, Religion, and Aging.
    Vern L. Bengtson, University of Southern California, Samantha L. C. Kang, Camille G. Endacott, and Gabrielle G. Gonzales, University of California Santa Barbara, and Merril Silverstein, Syracuse University.

    2. The Current Landscape of American Religion: Diversity, Individualization, and the Implications for an Aging Population.
    Rhys H. Williams, Loyola University, Chicago.

    3. Spiritual Journeys: Elders' Stories of Spiritual Development.
    Robert C. Atchley, Miami University.

    4. Meaning Making Narratives among Non-Religious Individuals Facing the End of Life.
    Christel Manning, Sacred Heart University.

    5. The role of Questioning in Religious and Spiritual Development in Later Life.
    Peter G. Coleman, University of Southampton.

    6. Religion and Health in the US Context of Secularization and Aging
    Ellen Idler, Emory University.

    7. Cognition and Culture: Implications for Understanding Religion/Spirituality.
    Linda K. George, Duke University.

    8. How Religion Affects Health: Views from Midway Through an Odyssey.
    Neal Krause, University of Michigan .

    9. Spirituality and Wisdom: Their Differential Effects on Older Adults’ Spiritual Behavior, Well-Being, and Attitudes Toward Death.
    Monika Ardelt, University of Florida.

    10. Religion and Spirituality over the Life-Cycle.
    Wade Clark Roof, University of California Santa Barbara.

    11. Spirituality and Life Review at the End of Life in Old Age.
    Malcolm Johnson, Universities of Bath and Bristol, UK.

    12. Stages on Life's Way: Life Review through Dreams.
    Rick Moody, Fielding Graduate University.

    13. What Does It All Mean? Observations and Takeaways by a Practical Theologian.
    H. Peter Kang, Episcopal Church.


    Vern L. Bengtson is Research Professor in the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Bengston held the AARP/University Chair at USC and was past president of Gerontological Society of America and a MERIT awardee from the National Institutes of Health. He has written extensively on gerontology, sociology of aging, and religion, publishing 17 books and over 250 research papers.

    Merril Silverstein is Marjorie Cantor Professor of Aging Studies and the inaugural holder of the Marjorie Cantor Chair in Aging Studies at Syracuse University. Dr. Silverstein’s research has focused on aging in the context of family life in over 150 research publications, with added emphases on life course and international perspectives. He is a Brookdale Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar, and between 2010-2014 served as editor-in-chief of Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences.