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Forgetting Whose We Are: Alzheimer's Disease and the Love of God

Overview

Alzheimer's disease - a degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized especially by premature mental deterioration - is the most publicly visible and widely discussed form of a range of disorders known as senile dementia. The nature of Alzheimer's disease, especially its progressive debilitation of the memory, raises key theological issues. What does it mean to be truly human? Does our ability to remember define who we are as persons? When the mind loses its ability to remember, what happens to...
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Overview

Alzheimer's disease - a degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized especially by premature mental deterioration - is the most publicly visible and widely discussed form of a range of disorders known as senile dementia. The nature of Alzheimer's disease, especially its progressive debilitation of the memory, raises key theological issues. What does it mean to be truly human? Does our ability to remember define who we are as persons? When the mind loses its ability to remember, what happens to the life of the soul? When we forget God, does God still remember us? Forgetting Whose We Are offers a Christian understanding of and response to the difficult theological, spiritual, and pastoral problems raised by Alzheimer's disease. Filling an important gap in existing literature by directly confronting the theological challenges of Alzheimer's disease to victims, caregivers, and their communities, the book affirms the classic Christian doctrines that witness to the reality of grace and the promises of salvation even for those who can no longer remember themselves, their families, or their relationship with God.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687020881
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 8.83 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

David Keck is Visiting Professor History at Ateneo de Manilla University in the Philippines.
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Table of Contents

Foreword 9
Introduction: Alzheimer's, the Theological Disease 13
Ch. 1 Deconstruction Incarnate: The Etiology and Teleology of Alzheimer's Disease 21
Medical Aspects of Alzheimer's Disease 22
Imagining Alzheimer's: Narrative, Prayer, and Disease 26
Theological Questions Raised by Alzheimer's Disease: An Agenda 37
Ch. 2 Memory and Canonicity 43
God's Memory, the Foundation of Our Hope 45
Human Memory, Faith, and Apostolicity in Israel and the Church 48
Forgetting, Sin, and Modernity 56
Dynamism and Duree: Modern Contributions to Memory 63
A Theological Appreciation of Memory: Memory as Canon 70
Ch. 3 Method as Memory 75
Personal Experience and Pastoral Needs 76
The Duree of Doctrine 81
Traditional Christianity and the Church/Academy Problem 85
Theological Convictions 88
Method as Memory 94
Ch. 4 The Soul and Its Grammar 97
The Passive-Voice Soul 99
The Deactivation of the Active-Voice Soul 105
Materialism and "Soul-Speak" 109
Calvin and Hobbes 116
The Heart-Body Mystery 123
Ch. 5 Death and Resurrection, Praise and Paradise 129
Resurrection, Present and Past 131
Caregiving and Resurrection 135
Death, Dying, and Alzheimer's Disease 138
Death, Praise, and Church Preaching 141
Streets of Gold and the Beatific Vision 149
Ch. 6 Sin, Alzheimer's Apocalyptic, and Forgiveness 155
Sin: A Glutinous Conviction 157
The Weariness of Acedia and the Burden of Guilt 161
Alzheimer's Apocalyptic and Church Proclamation 166
What the Church Can Learn 175
Ch. 7 Beauty, the Church, and Christology 177
Descriptions of the Beautiful 180
Beauty and Belief; or, A Christian Rhetoric 185
The Caregiver as Christian Poet 196
Ch. 8 Caregiving and the Freedom of Churched History 203
The Caregiver as Historian 207
Jesus as Historian 213
The Freedom of Churched History 219
Afterword: An Alzheimer's Hermeneutic and the Love of God 225
Notes 231
Bibliography 247
Index 253
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