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Products for grant HB-262298-19

Holding the Hand of God: ‘Successful Aging’ in A Catholic Convent
Anna Corwin, St. Mary's College of California

Grant details:

Holding the Hand of God: How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Successful Aging (Book)
Title: Holding the Hand of God: How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Successful Aging
Author: Anna I. Corwin
Abstract: The book addresses the question of why American Catholic nuns age more “successfully” than their lay counterparts. Research in epidemiology has found that nuns experience greater physical and psychological health outcomes than their peers (Snowdon 2001). Catholic nuns not only experience longer lives than their contemporaries, they also experience greater physical health and psychological health outcomes as they age. Studies have identified a number of contributing factors to the nuns’ health, such as consistent nutrition and higher education. However, these quantitative studies were not methodologically equipped to explore two factors they documented to correlate with well-being: the roles of prayer and social support. Holding the Hand of God provides an ethnographic analysis of the everyday lives of Franciscan Catholic nuns in a convent in the American Midwest to explore how prayer and social support shape the nuns’ experiences of aging, pain, and the end of life. The book examines why the sisters experience fewer chronic conditions as they age and why individual sisters who do develop chronic conditions, who live in constant chronic pain, report experiencing each day with peace and joy. Holding the Hand of God analyzes the everyday social interactions that structure how these exemplars of ‘successful aging’ confront pain, illness, and the process of growing old.
Year: 2021
Publisher: Rugters University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: n/a
Copy sent to NEH?: No