What the Body Remembers: Theological Reflections on Dementia

John Swinton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The article explores the experience of spirituality and advanced dementia from the perspective of Christian theology. It examines the significance of Christian education and spiritual practices for understanding the significance of spirituality for people living with advanced dementia. The article explores the nature of memory and the importance of the body in remembering. When our recall memory fades, our bodily memory remains. The real question is whether people can recognise the importance of body memory and enable deeper understanding through such recognition. The article indicates ways in which bodily memory can be reclaimed as significant for dementia care and what that might look like.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-172
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging
Issue number2-3
Early online date17 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • aging and spirituality
  • bodily memory
  • church
  • dementia
  • memory
  • ministry
  • spiritual experiences


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