Dementia: Living in the Memories of God, John Swinton. (London: SCM, 2012) £25
Dementia: Living in the Memories of God, John Swinton. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012) £16.99
This book is published by different publishers on opposite sides of the Atlantic, both of which are available from Amazon, at significantly different prices. I requested a review copy from SCM the British Publisher and I am grateful to them for the copy used in this series of reviews. Page references therefore are to the SCM edition
It's some time since I did consecutive blogging on a theme or a book. That's why I asked for a review copy of Swinton's new book, Dementia. Living in the Memories of God. In my own circle of friends and family, and in years of pastoral ministry, I have watched those for whom I care begin to lose their sense of self, and have supported those who love them through the valley of deep darkness that they have sensed ahead of them, and the one they love. The theological and pastoral questions are urgent, crucial and take us to the foundation convictions of Christian theology and pastoral responsiveness to each human being as made in the image of God. Dementia is a condition that raises profound questions about human being, human love, the sense of personal identity and ultimately the meaning and worth of each human life.
A blog is a good place to explore all this, and invite insights from others, and share and learn together something of what it means to cherish and celebrate the depths of our own humanity, and God's love beyoind understanding.
" The glory of human beings is not power, the power to control someone else; the glory of human beings is the ability to let what is deepest within us grow."
Jean Vanier, Befriending the Stranger, quoted in Swinton, page 153.
There will be several posts reviewing Swinton's book throughout January.