On Retiring to Kendal (and Beyond); A Literary Excursion

On Retiring to Kendal (and Beyond); A Literary Excursion

by Peter Bien

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Is death an unmitigated calamity?

Upon moving into a retirement community like Kendal, one obviously thinks about such things, since such a community--although at first resembling a marvelously stimulating educational cruise boat, or a luxurious residential hotel, or an undergraduate college--is after all your final home, a place from which, sooner or later, you will leave in a box, ready for burial or cremation.

Why have Quakers been so active in creating such communities? And why do so many Quakers consider residence in a Kendal or similar community to be a natural, desirable alternative to remaining in their individual homes? Perhaps it is because their friends and relatives are already there, or because Friends do not wish to burden their children with old-age cares. I hope, however, that the primary reason is something else, whether or not it be consciously articulated--namely, Friends' emphasis on the corporate nature of religious life and therefore the corporate nature of life in general. If worship is corporate as well as private, if business decisions are determined by a sense of the entire Meeting rather than by a preponderance of individual votes, then presumably aging and dying, too, is properly corporate.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157056186
Publisher: Pendle Hill Publications
Publication date: 07/18/2016
Series: Pendle Hill Pamphlets , #368
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 30
File size: 169 KB

About the Author

Peter Bien first came to Pendle Hill in 1952 to train for Quaker International Voluntary Service in Holland. He has been a trustee off and on since 1977, serving on the publications committee. In his spare time, he used to profess English and comparative literature at Dartmouth College, specializing in the modern British novel and also in modern Greek poetry and prose, especially the work of Nikos Kazantzakis. In the 1980s, together with others from Hanover Monthly Meeting, he helped “invent” Kendal at Hanover, where he and his wife Chrysanthi have resided since 2002. In the summers, however, they happily occupy 120 acres in the Adirondacks, somehow entertaining seven grandchildren and their parents. This is his third Pendle Hill pamphlet.

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