VTS Announces Publication of "Redeeming Dementia: Spirituality, Theology, and Science"
I had been waiting for this book for some time. Finally, a copy appeared in my office. Redeeming Dementia: Spirituality, Theology, and Science is co-written by Dorothy Linthicum and Janice Hicks. One joy of traveling is that it gives me time to read (I am currently in Richmond today). Redeeming Dementia is quite brilliant. The book starts with the science - two chapters explore the nature of the brain and the way in which dementia impacts the brain. Then the next two chapters locate the issues theologically - the first captures the theology of personhood and the second captured the theology of dementia. Then the final three invite us to engage positively with this reality - with chapters on spirituality, embracing, and serving. At the end of the book, one's worldview has been changed. For the 47 million people in the world suffering with dementia, here is a rich resource that locates dementia in a transcendent and spiritual context.
Dorothy gave me a copy of the book and wrote a note inside "VTS made this book possible. Thank you." Reading the acknowledgments, one could see why. Janice Hicks (a recent graduate of VTS) did a senior thesis with the Rev. Dr. Kate Sonderegger; this senior thesis became part of this book. Dorothy had opportunities to teach and, perhaps more importantly, enjoy the company of Marilyn (Anne Karoly's mother), who had dementia. The classroom, the senior thesis, and a staff member's mother - all combined to create a book of exquisite beauty.
Congratulations to both Janice and Dorothy. Janice has written this book as she transitioned into ministry. Dorothy has written this book while working in that energetic Lifelong Learning team. Faculty colleagues are given time for such scholarly outputs. Staff fit writing around their busy and full days. This is a remarkable achievement. For a busy staff member to produce a book of such excellence reflects that core mixture of passion and determination. This is a life-changing book which really is a gift that makes the Seminary proud to have the privilege of having Dorothy's rich contribution within our community.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President