Think aging is a problem? Or, even worse: an illness? A disorder to be avoided at all costs? Are you nervous even discussing the “a” word?
Well, grab a copy of “Creative Aging” by Marjory Zoet Bankson and throw away that negative baggage. Right away you’ll be immersed in phrases like this: “this amazing new period of generativity,” “new wellsprings of creative work” and “a period of possibility.”
ReadTheSpirit has been urging writers and publishers to dig more deeply into the spiritual gifts of aging. Most of the thousands of books on aging, to date, are about—avoiding it. So, today, we’re very pleased to recommend Bankson’s book. If you’re not familiar with her work, she was a key leader in the “Faith At Work” movement. She’s a popular retreat leader and inspirational speaker in mainline Christian circles. She’s currently based at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. And on top of all that? She’s an accomplished artist who also writes about the spiritual insights unlocked through the arts.
So, what does this extremely talented author know about the lives of real people like us? A lot. In fact, for this book, she conducted a series of fresh interviews with people in their 60s and 70s, which is the core age range she’s addressing here. Within the book, she leads us through eight steps of spiritual discernment and preparation for a creative new life in our older years.
What are these steps? She begins with two “r” words: rethinking and release—in other words, reorienting our minds and hearts to all the tough transitions involved in this period of life. Then, she writes about the new forms of creative energy we can discover—an exciting new vocational focus we can find at this stage in life—and she describes new ways of relating to our communities in our 60s and 70s.
Recently, ReadTheSpirit published a series of interviews with theologian Stanley Hauerwas in which he talked about some of these same themes. Here’s Part 1 in the Hauerwas series. Or, if you want to dive right into the heart of Hauerwas’ thoughts on aging, here’s Hauerwas on “For the Faithful, There Is No ‘Florida’.”
Another writer we recommend on this theme is Missy Buchanan, published by Upper Room Books. Last year, Missy Buchanan published “10 Tips for Better Ministry: Celebrating the Spiritual Gifts of Aging” in ReadTheSpirit.
Care to read some free chapters of
“Creative Aging” by Marjory Zoet Bankson?
Publisher Skylight Paths provides a Google-Preview of the book that lets you actually flip through more than 40 pages of the text. You can purchase a copy of the book on the same Skylight page.
ENJOY OUR ENTIRE GREAT SUMMER READING AND VIEWING SERIES: (Our series so far: “Crown of Aleppo,” “Science Vs. Religion,” “Belief,” “Apparition,” “Burma VJ,” “Facets World Cup,” “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth” “The Lonely Polygamist,” “Rise and Shine,” “Saints,” “Beaches of Agnes” and “Mystically Wired.”)
We welcome your Emails! Email [email protected]. We’re also reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Huffington Post, YouTube and other social-networking sites. You also can Subscribe to our articles via Email or RSS feed. Plus, there’s a free Monday-morning “Planner” newsletter you may enjoy.