Australians are living longer and our society is an ageing society. This unit will explore the phenomenon of human ageing at personal and societal levels. In light of current person-centred approaches in aged care, multi-disciplinary understandings of ageing will be explored. This will provide the context for an in-depth study of pastoral care, both theoretical and practical. The ways in which human ageing challenges pastoral care will be a particular focus of this study. The context for this study will be the theological, spiritual, ethical, and pastoral care traditions of the Catholic church.

Unit code: DT9631C

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an understanding of human ageing that is holistic and multi-dimensional; particular emphasis will be given to the theological anthropology of Catholic theology;


Evaluate critically the variety of approaches that seek to explore the meanings of human ageing; particular emphasis will be given to Catholic theological, spiritual, ethical and pastoral care components of the search for meaning;


Analyse various understandings of pastoral care as they apply to persons who are ageing; particular emphasis will be given to the sacramental dimension of ecclesial life as it shapes pastoral care understandings in the Catholic church;


Formulate what it means to grow old in 21st century Australia.


Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Baldwin, C., and A. Capstick. Tom Kitwood on Dementia: A Reader and Critical Commentary. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2007.
  • Cole, T.R., and S. A. Gadow. What Does It Mean to Grow Old? Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1986.
  • Cole, T.R., R. Kastenbaum, and R.E. Ray, eds. Handbook of the Humanities and Aging. 2nd ed. New York: Springer, 2000.
  • Coleman, P.G., and A. O’Hanlon. Ageing and Development: Theories and Research. London: Arnold, 2004.
  • Connidis, I.A. Family Ties and Ageing. Los Angeles: Pine Forge Press, 2010.
  • Lartey, E. Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World. Peterborough, UK: Epworth Press, 2006.
  • Sachs, J.R. The Christian Vision of Humanity. Basic Christian Anthropology. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991.
  • Swinton, J. Dementia: living in the memories of God. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay 4000 words

4000 60.0

Short paper 1000 words

1000 20.0

Short paper 1000 words

1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-06-27 16:00:25 +1000