Exploring European changes in religious and secular beliefs and practices related to life passages, this book provides a deeper understanding of the impacts of social change on personal identity and adjustment across the life course, According to latest research, Europeans who consider religious services appropriate to mark life passages significantly outnumber those who declare themselves as believers. Drawing on fascinating oral histories of older people's memories in both Eastern and Western Europe, this book presents illuminating views on peoples' quests for existential meaning in later life. Ageing, Ritual and Social Change presents an invaluable resource for all those exploring issues of ageing, including those looking from perspectives of sociology and psychology of religion, social and oral history and East-Central European studies.
Prize: Winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award for 2014 'The editors and contributors deserve appreciation for undertaking this challenging comparative project. A significant multidisciplinary contribution to the literature on aging, religion/ritual, comparative oral history, and social change. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.' Choice ’The stories that have emerged from this endeavour are compelling - the more so since the individuals in question are allowed to speak for themselves. This is one reason why I am delighted to commend this important piece of research to the widest possible range of readers. There are many others.’ Grace Davie, University of Exeter, UK 'Concern over an ageing society will be a primary issue driving social policy around the world in the next few decades. This impressive volume examines the impact of social and specifically religious change on the experience of ageing in two very different areas of Europe, and should be required reading for every interested policy maker and researcher.’ Vern L. Bengtson, University of Southern California, USA ’This book offers a valuable contribution to researchers in gerontology, the sociology of religion, and to the wider social sciences more generally... a fascinating book, with a depth of scholarship and a genuine commitment to the research process and the stories of elderly people living out their lives, their faith and their values in the context of social change.’ Ageing and Society ’This volume is a compelling and authoritative contribution to the literature that seeks to understand our quest for meaning in later life. The twelve essays, carefully organised and edited, make a significant contribution to our understanding of the nature of ageing in human society and within two different areas of Europe.’ Modern Believing