ICHM begins the New Year focusing on the theme of Alzheimer/Dementia, a common condition that will be discussed in an upcoming Alive & Well Podcast to be available in early February. It features a conversation with John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology, Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen.   He founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability. The Centre’s work deals with the spiritual aspect of contemporary healthcare practices and the theology of disability. He has published widely within the area of mental health, dementia, disability theology, spirituality and healthcare, qualitative research and pastoral care. John is the author of a number of monographs including Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness and Gentle Discipleship and his new book: Finding Jesus in the Storm: The spiritual lives of people with mental health challenges. (Eerdmans 2020).

In his book Dementia: Living in the memories of God, Swinton addresses one of the most feared diseases in Western society today. Some have even gone so far as to suggest euthanasia as a solution to the perceived indignity of memory loss and the disorientation that accompanies it.  John Swinton challenges these notions and develops a practical theology of dementia for caregivers, people with dementia, ministers, hospital chaplains, and medical practitioners. He explores two primary questions:

  • Who am I when I’ve forgotten who I am?
  • What does it mean to love God and be loved by God when I have forgotten who God is?

Offering compassionate and carefully considered theological and pastoral responses to dementia and forgetfulness, Swinton redefines dementia in light of the transformative counter story that is the gospel.

The kindle version of the book is available for $5.00 on Amazon.ca and provides context for the upcoming podcast with John Swinton.   More about the podcast will be posted soon on the ICHM Website.

Other selected books by Swinton include:
  • Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges (2020). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. ISBN 9780334059745
  • Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Time fullness, and Gentle Discipleship (2018). Baylor University Press. ISBN 9781481304085
  • Mental Health: The Inclusive Church Resource (2014) Dorton, Longman & Todd (with Jean Vanier) ISBN 9780232530667
  • Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (2012). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Published in the UK (2012) London: SCM Press
  • Brock, BR. & Swinton, J. (eds) (2012.
  • Living Well and Dying Faithfully: Christian Practices for End-Of-Life Care (2009) (Edited text with Richard Payne) Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
  • Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness (2008) (With Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier) IVP
  • Raging With Compassion: Pastoral responses to the problem of evil(2007) Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-2997-X
  • Theology, Disability and the New Genetics: Why Science Needs the Church (2007) (Edited text with Dr. Brian Brock) London: T&T Clarke.
  • Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a “forgotten” dimension (2001) Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN 1-85302-804-5
  • Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the care of people with severe mental health problems (2000) Abingdon Press, Nashville. ISBN 0-687-08228-5.
  • The Spiritual Dimension of Pastoral Care: Practical theology in a multidisciplinary context (2000) (Edited Text with David Willows) Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN 1-85302-892-4.