How would you describe your book in one sentence?
This book hopes to capture the positive possibilities for aging as one aimed at Sabbath Rest through participation in Christ and virtue, while also wrestling with its challenges.
What drew to you writing about this subject?
While working at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, I encountered a lively and engaging group of retired professors and New Haven community members wrestling with the aging experience. I also began reading about challenges to aging at that time – whether from transhumanists or the medical community. It caused me to wonder if there were any “good” in aging worth preserving and what our religious commitments might have to offer. I turned to Christian theology and ethics to discover more about the subject.
How long have you been researching it? How did you come to study it?
I brought my questions about aging with me to graduate studies. So, technically, I’ve been thinking about the meaning of aging for a decade. While some of my early graduate papers engaged the topic, my perspective hopefully matured through concentrated time researching St. Augustine and Karl Barth as well as greater life experience through teaching and community life that involves relationships with both young and old.
What does your book focus on that hasn’t been explored elsewhere?
This books offers an Augustinian and Barthian account of aging and death in ways that have not been explored before through its focus on Sabbath rest as vocation and virtue in terms of union with Christ. Gleaning insights from these two iconic authors from differing millennia helped me to see the importance of acknowledging honest lament and compassion when facing aging’s challenges while setting forth a positive vision of aging as participation and virtue among intergenerational communities.
What do you hoped readers and scholars will gain from reading this book?
My hope is that by recognizing our identity as limited, beautiful creatures who age and die, we might grow in virtue across generations and more adequately approach the goals of medicine and bioethics.
Sabbath Rest as Vocation is due for release in hardback and ebook format on 14th June 2018 - pre-order now!