Spiritual reminiscence in later life

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


There is something deeply intriguing about human story. It is closely associated with identity and can come to engage the person’s whole sense of being, meaning and purpose in life. When I first felt drawn to listen to the stories of older people in the 1990s, seeking to find what life and meaning looked like for these older people, I had a sense that it would somehow be connected with the depths of being or the spiritual dimension. I was also conscious of the fact that, in the 1990s, the word ‘spiritual’ might not be the best word from which to begin to explore older people’s stories. It was a word ill-defined and according to some could be termed a ‘weazle’ word. But I felt uncertain about any other more appropriate word at the time. What I hoped to do in my studies was to map the spiritual dimension of older independent living people to learn if the spiritual dimension was important to them, and whether this might be so for those who had a religious faith and also those who did not. In other words, was the spiritual dimension a factor in the lives of older people, and if so, how important was it? This chapter focuses on the process of searching for and finding meaning as the basis of spiritual reminiscence.Spiritual reminiscence has been defined as ‘a particular way of communication that acknowledges the person as a spiritual being and seeks to engage the person in a more meaningful and personal way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational perspectives on reminiscence, life review and life story work
EditorsFaith Gibson
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherJessica Kingsley Publishers
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781784507442
ISBN (Print)9781785923920
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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