Aging Well – Or Not – In Fiction and Faith

Date(s) - 03/20/2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am


Aging Well – Or Not – In Fiction and Faith
Fourteenth Fay and Alfred Grosse Seminar on Religion and the Literary Arts
Saturday, March 20, 2021 10:00 to 11:30 am (Plus recorded lectures to be viewed prior to the Saturday session.)

This seminar explores aging and faith through the window of contemporary fiction. Novels and short stories open vistas for us upon the many ways that aging impacts faith and belief, and the literary artist helps us consider the challenging questions: What does it mean to “age well” or not? Is aging a fertile ground for maturation in faith, or is it a threat to spiritual meaning and purpose? The biblical tradition extols the wisdom and virtue of “the elders.” In the North American culture obsessed with aging, or rather the cult of youth, are the aging in contemporary fiction mentors of spiritual wisdom, courageous voyagers into the unknown territory of death, faithless victims of senility, plucky activists who inspire the young for common cause, recalcitrant traditionalists, or worn-out believers whose hope flickers dimly while awaiting whatever comes next? What are the stories that fiction tells about religious faith, in general, and Christian faithfulness, in particular, as we advance in chronological years?

Lee Ramsey is the Marlon and Sheila Foster Professor of Pastoral Theology and Homiletics at Memphis Theological Seminary, where he has been teaching since 1998. He holds an MDiv from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a PhD in Religion from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Ramsey is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and serves as the pastor of Elm Grove United Methodist Church in Covington, TN. His teaching and research interests include the relationship between pastoral care and preaching, pastoral care in times of grief and loss, and the use of fiction and film to explore Christian faith and the practices of Christian ministry. Dr. Ramsey is the author of Preachers and Misfits, Prophets and Thieves: The Minister in Southern Fiction and Care-full Preaching: From Sermon to Caring Community. Dr. Ramsey is married with two adult children, and in his free time he enjoys gardening, birdwatching, fly fishing, and sitting on the porch and reading a good novel while accompanied by his yellow Labrador, Annie.



Individual seminars and courses – $15.00
Series subscription (All 10 seminars and courses) – $100.00- view the complete series at

All registrations include both the live, interactive sessions plus access to the recordings.

Register at


How do I register?
1. Online at
2. Call (817) 257-7589

How much is the registration fee?
Individual seminars and courses are $15.00. Or choose a money-saving option of a series subscription for all ten offerings for $100.00. Both registration options include the “live” session(s) as well as “on demand” access afterwards.

What about scholarships?
In keeping with the history of the School and the mission of Brite Divinity School, we want to make the seminars available to all. If you would like to apply for financial aid, please contact our office and arrangements will be made to ensure your participation.

Where are classes held?
All classes will be held online using Zoom.

How do I access the classes on Zoom?
Access information will be sent via email approximately a week prior to the session. There are three ways to participate in the class: 1. Click on the link in the email and your browser will take you to the meeting; 2. Using the Zoom app, join the meeting using the Meeting ID number and password ; and 3. Call in using one of the Zoom access phone numbers and enter the Meeting ID and Password.

How do I access the “on demand” recordings?
Recordings can be accessed through a secure website and will play like a regular video. The link and password will be sent to you after the seminar.

What computer equipment will I need to participate?
Zoom can be accessed from any device: Phone, Mobile Phone, Tablet, Mac or PC with a camera and/or microphone. Most desktop computers that are not an “all-in-one” do not have a camera or microphone but almost all laptops do. However, even without a camera or microphone, one can call in with their phone (but will not have access to the video). Most devices do not need special software to participate in a Zoom meeting however Chrome is the best browser for Zoom and can be downloaded from We also recommend an internet speed of 10 Mbps or higher. If you have any questions please call us at 817-257-7589.

What if I have never used Zoom?
The Office of Lay and Continuing Education will be available to assist you in learning to use the tools. There will be a practice session using Zoom before the first event in September.

How early should I “arrive” to the session?
Ideally you should click on the link at least 5 minutes but no more than ten minutes before the scheduled time. This ensures any technical issues are resolved and you have adequate time to set up.

What is basic [N]etiquette for a Zoom session?
Once you sign on, please be sure to mute your microphone so any background noise is not picked up and added into the call. This ensures the quality of the session and recording for others. If you are going to use the video function, please try to be in a minimally distracting background or staying in a quiet room.

How do I ask the speaker questions?
Please do not un-mute your microphone to ask the speaker a question in the middle of a lecture. Depending on the presenter, questions and comments can be submitted via the chat function within Zoom or you can be called upon by the moderator. This ensures the highest quality recording possible.

What if I have other questions?

Call the Office of Lay and Continuing Education at (817) 257-7589.

Please be advised that photography, video and audio recordings may be taken of events hosted by Brite Divinity School. These recordings may be displayed on Brite’s website, social media platforms or used in Brite’s marketing materials. By attending these events, hosted by Brite Divinity School, I consent to the use of my name, image or likeness, and voice for video, photographic and/or audio production and/or promotional purposes.

For online events, you have the option to turn off your camera and change your displayed name. Learn more at Zoom Support Center. If you have questions or concerns regarding this notice, please contact Vanessa Daley at (817) 257-7579.