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Past Event

Memory, Meaning and Human Identity: The place of theology in constructing the purpose of age in the light of dementia?

Registration required

About the Speaker

Professor James Woodward, Sarum College

James Woodward has been Principal of Sarum College since October 2015. 

As a Practical Theologian James has focussed on areas of health and healing, old age, the practice of theological reflection, and end of life care. In thirty years of ministerial experience James has worked in a range of contexts, including health care chaplaincy and rural ministry, where he has consistently delivered sustainable growth and development in thinking and practice. As a theological educator James has taught in the Universities of Birmingham, Warwick, Cardiff, and in writing and delivering distance learning materials for part-time students through The Open University.

James is Chair of Governors at Salisbury Cathedral School and a Visiting Professor of the University of Winchester.


As we contemplate what old age might have in store for us they can be no greater fear than the possibility of losing our memory. Modernity may have offered us longevity but at some threat to our well-being and flourishing. This paper will explore some of the theological issues raised by dementia: personhood and identity, mind and memory, body and soul and what it is that we value in human life.


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

04 February 2020 16:00 - 17:00


Christ Church, Oxford University

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