Aging, Older Adults, Gerontology

Book Review: Aging and Loving: Christian Faith and Sexuality in Later Life

”Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’” (Genesis 18:11-12) Sarah needed to read this book. So do you, if you are […]

Loving Later Life: An Ethics of Aging (Eerdmans, 2015)

[1] Frits de Lange is professor of ethics at the Protestant Theological University in the Netherlands and Extraordinary Professor in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. His book on the ethics of aging needs no apology for its relevance in the graying of our world, a phenomenon more immediate affluent […]

Editor’s Introduction: What does it mean to die well?

What does it mean to die well in this culture? While far too many people never have the opportunity to face that question because their lives are snuffed out, it is being asked with greater urgency and frequency as contemporary societies become more scientifically and medically sophisticated.

End-of-Life Ethics: An Ecological Approach

Over time, we have moved from a model where doctors have the final say in end-of-life care to patients having ultimate decision-making power. Though both of these have benefits, neither inherently consider the family members involved, or the ways in which hopice and palliative care have developed in recent decades. Doka argues for an ecological approach to end-of-life care in which each of these dimensions is taken into consideration to ensure that the ecosystem of a person’s life–including the grief process of their family–is taken into consideration when preparing for a patient’s passing.

Editor’s Introduction: Hope and Anxiety

How does the reality of hope address the deepest anxieties of human beings? This issue explores this question from a variety of perspectives. It seeks to illuminate the intergenerational and gender contours of anxiety as well as its intra-generational manifestations among Baby Boomers and Millennials. It also reflects on this question drawing upon rich biblical […]

Anxiety and Hope in the Lives of Baby Boomers: Beginning a Conversation

​The need for responding to fearful narratives of aging has never been greater. Very large numbers of baby boomers are beginning to retire. As those born between 1946 and 1964 move into their seniority, they are often impacted by negative scripts that can easily lead to heightened anxiety, feelings of meaninglessness, and despair. The task for Lutheran ethics in this (crisis) context is to provide a more complex, faith-filled narrative. To do so, it is important to begin a conversation around how we might best articulate the hope that is ours in Christ as it intersects with the context in which this cohort group is aging.


[1] This October was the first time my grandmother witnessed me in the role of pastor. I was baptizing my first grandson. Around the baptismal font stood five generations of my family. Why were we all standing there? Well, I would say that it was because of my grandmother. My maternal grandmother has heard me […]

JLE Portfolio: Reflections on End of Life Decisions

[1] The long tragic case of Terri Shiavo recently produced an outpouring of response throughout the United States. Her death was reported on April 1, 2005, nearly two weeks after life support was removed in accord with a court order. Terri Shiavo suffered severe brain damage in 1990 when she collapsed at home after suffering […]

A Community of Character at the Intersections of Life and Death

[1] As a Christian and as a Moral Theologian, I have been appalled by the Theresa Schiavo case for a number of reasons. There is no doubt that many people used this case as an opportunity to promote a particular point of view or agenda. To these ends they twisted the legal, medical, political, moral, […]

Bishop’s Pastoral Letter on “End of Life Decisions”

[1] Christ has risen! He is risen, indeed! [2] On Easter morning Jesus provided the ultimate answer to matters related to the end of life. We proclaim it in the words of the hymn: “Thine is the glory, Risen, conqu’ring Son; Endless is the victory, Thou o’er death hast won!” For the believer, the last […]