Resourcing Hope for Ageing and Dying in a Broken World

Resourcing Hope for Ageing and Dying in a Broken World

Wayfaring through Despair

By Ashley Moyse

Anthem Religion and Society Series

For those captive to the broken world of late modernity, wherein ageing and dying persons become vulnerable to despair, this book not only offers a diagnostic of such despair but also resources the practices of a realistic, humanising hope that might enable a strength for person to journey with and for others, together, through such despair, now liberated to become hopeful wayfarers in living and dying.

Hardback, 250 Pages


July 2022

£80.00, $125.00

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About This Book

Jean Améry (Hanns Chaim Mayer) was an Austrian-born essayist, whose reflections on ageing outline the cost that advanced age brings to the human body, mind, and spirit. He suggested the frail elderly come to rest, and are forced, by the depredations of ageing, to make do without. Similarly, scholars in palliative care and medical research (Linda Ganzini et al., Marianne Dees et al., and Timothy Quill, for example) have observed that persons confronting unrelenting prognoses and irremediable diagnoses are also forced, by the devastations of disease and dysfunction, to make do without. That is to say, whether ageing and frail, or dying, persons are discovering themselves to be in a world they no longer understand and without the capacities to engage with it. They in turn despair. Such despair generates behaviours that anticipate suicide or other, often tragic, outcomes that impede or greatly curtail or even completely inhibit human flourishing.

By addressing the genesis of despair in vulnerable populations, including the frail elderly and the terminally ill, while presenting the attenuating benefits of religious observance and related educative practices (habits of virtue), this project will demonstrate the way theology might resource both human flourishing and hope for these persons inundated by anguish in our late modern age with its anthropologies that leave persons vulnerable to despair. Responding to such risk and the threats of despair, an examination of the habits of character formation and communal life will follow. Such habits and practices might resource a way of being that enables a strength or resilience, a patience, to endure rather than succumb to both personal and social calamity, while learning to become homo viator or the ‘human wayfarer’ for journeys of perseverance.


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Author Information

Ashley John Moyse is the McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow in Christian Ethics and Public Life, Christ Church, University of Oxford.


Anthem Religion and Society Series

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction. Diagnosing Despair. Resourcing Hope; Chapter 1. Pain, Suffering and the Broken World; Chapter 2. Ageing ‘As One More Opportunity to Fail’; Chapter 3. Dying Deceived by Despair in Disguise; Chapter 4. Wayfaring through Despair, Practicing Hope; Afterword by Lydia S. Dugdale; Bibliography; Index.


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