About the Faith in a Time of Dementia – The Other Side of Nothingness course
Most of us know at least one person living with dementia, and the numbers in the UK continue to increase. This presents Christians with pastoral, practical and theological challenges, as some of the symptoms of dementia (such as loss of memory, speech and capacity to respond to others) seem to undermine what we believe human beings to be. But these challenges also present us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of what it is to be a human being in the Church and ‘before God’; what it is to be a Church that embraces the reality of dementia; and what the prophetic role of the Church may be in society in a time of dementia.
This short workshop will provide an occasion to explore all these themes in the light of our own experience of people close to us who live with dementia, reflecting on how this experience may enrich our faith together as Christians.
About the Tutor
Dr Peter Kevern is Professor of Values in Health and Social Care at Staffordshire University, and has written widely on the relationship between dementia and faith. He is currently working on a eucharistic theology of dementia.
He began thinking about the faith implications of dementia when his own mother was diagnosed in the early 2000s. His writing has covered subjects as diverse as spirituality for people with dementia, the ‘dementia of God’, Dementia Friendly Churches and Muslim faith responses to dementia.
His other teaching and research is concerned with the role of religious communities in supporting public health in a diverse and ageing society.