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The Leveson Centre for the study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy

Befriending Illness

Befriending Illness

James Woodward, Director of the Leveson Centre
Leveson Paper 13

Following his well-reviewed book Befriending Death, James Woodward, the Director of the Leveson Centre, offers here an insight into illness and how we may approach it. He suggests that illness is a complex phenomenon which resists simple explanations and at the same time he dares to hope that a positive experience of illness is possible. He challenges simplistic views of illness whether they emanate from the scientific-medical culture or from Christian faith and does not believe that illness can be understood purely in physical terms. We need firstly to accept it as a natural part of the experience of all human beings throughout the ages, rather than something which is an affront to our scientific domination of creation, and secondly to learn from Christian reflection on the cross and the passivity of Jesus at the end of his life.

Befriending Illness (Leveson Paper 13)
James Woodward

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