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Past Event

Bearing the burdens we (don’t) bare: A theological reflection on carrying the weight of ageing

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About the Speaker

Ashley Moyse, McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Moyse holds a PhD in theology from the University of Newcastle, Australia. In addition to his theological training, his academic background also includes a postgraduate research degree in the applied sciences as well as advanced study in bioethics and health policy. He is an Associate Fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity International University (USA), a member of the Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy, University of Divinity (AUS), and an honorary research associate at Trinity College, University of Divinity (AUS). Before coming to Oxford, Dr Moyse was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Theology and Science at Regent College, Vancouver, as well as Research Associate and Instructor of Christian Ethics for Vancouver School of Theology at the University of British Columbia.


The epoch of old age puts limits upon thinking about one’s self in terms of a dawn. The burdens of ageing and the limits of time do close down the possibilities of a new day rising, which can exaggerate feelings of fear and desire while resourcing despair. Some such burdens are borne from flesh and finitude. Others are constructed and artificially laid upon the shoulders of the aged. Regardless, these burdens must be given attention. The relation between burden self-image, despair, and late modern preoccupations with self-determination and independence will further focus such attention. Perspectives on self-detemination and independence in old age will be interrogated, while inviting theological reflection on Galatians 62, which calls us to bear one another’s burdens. Here, confession (and dissent) will play a significant role in the call for persons to ‘bare’, as in reveal, their burdens, so that we all might ‘bear’, as in carry, each other toward human flourishing and the good life at dusk.


This event is part of a seminar series:

Hilary 2020 Seminar Series: The Construction of Ageing

The Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, Oxford’s Humanities and Healthcare programme and the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics, and Public Life are co-hosting a seminar series on The Construction of Ageing.  While ageing is often considered a biological process, what it means to be young or old, youthful or elderly, is inevitably socially constructed. This suggests that ther...

Event Details

21 January 2020 16:00 - 17:00


Christ Church, Oxford University

Christ Church, St. Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DP