Brief of the Paper by Han Soon Hee, rscj, Korea

The paper explores the difficulties accompanying the ageing process of older Korean women. It tells of how personal and social images of older women constrict their sense of worth and their potential. Discussing ways in which older women can embrace new visions of themselves strengthened by the spirituality of imperfection in the context of aging, the author then explores the place in women’s spirituality of transition, especially in their body-image and inner life. Interior awareness is often richer during this time while physical abilities slowly lessen. The author suggests how we can continue to affirm the sacredness of the body even as we experience its decay and how we can empower aging women to have confidence in their declining bodies. These days in Korean society, women are very fond of cosmetic surgery and they give great value to it. This is not the Christian way of healthy self-value and spirituality, and this raises an important question: “Does anyone know how to live the last years meaningfully and joyfully?” It is precisely here that the need for a spiritual perspective is most acutely felt. The author ends by presenting a method of theological reflection to strengthen the spirituality of ageing Korean women by empowerment of the Sacred in their Body-image and Inner life.

Han Soon Hee, rscj is a sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She teaches at the Department of Religious Studies at the Catholic University of Korea. She finished an MA in Pastoral Studies, major in spirituality, at the Loyola University, USA.

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