Wisdom for Aging and Longevity: De Senectute and Proverbs in Conversation with the Modern Healthcare Industry




Chrosniak, Alina

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Faced with an ever-growing aging population, the modern American healthcare industry presents one account of aging, one that is largely tied to health, longevity, and avoidance of disease. However, a look to the past will reveal that aging was not always so focused on these concepts, leading us to ask whether the healthcare industry’s account is ultimately sufficient for aging well. In this thesis, we explore the healthcare industry’s account of aging and longevity by examining the rhetoric of scientific research, the pharmaceutical industry, and government agencies. We then compare our findings to an ancient Roman account, through the lens of Cicero’s De Senectute, and an ancient Hebrew account, through the lens of Proverbs. Ultimately, the themes of virtue, wisdom, righteousness, and the fear of the Lord that surface in these latter accounts offer a vision for aging and longevity that is more conducive to human flourishing.



Aging., Longevity., Healthcare., Cicero., Proverbs.