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Religious Development In A Lifespan Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter first presents the preliminary remarks on the relevance of gerontological research for practical theology. It then explains the theoretical framework as well as main results of the research project "Religious Development in Adulthood", which was conducted from 1999 to 2003. The chapter also gives a short insight into the planned research project "Religious Rituals in Late Life in a Pluralistic Society". Furthermore, the development of ritual practice throughout life and the specific meanings and functions of religious rituals for the process of ageing are examined. This project aims at investigating the possibly existing phenomenon of "desire for rituals" during the process of ageing by exploring related attitudes, practices and symbolic actions especially considering the socio-cultural position of rituals between "traditional custom" and "modern events". The chapter concludes with a short summary and an outlook on the theoretical as well as practical implications which result from the research projects.

Keywords: ageing; gerontological research; pluralistic society; practical theology; Religious Development in Adulthood; religious rituals



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