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Elm, Dorothee; Fitzon, Thorsten; Liess, Kathrin; Linden, Sandra (eds.) (2009): Alterstopoi. Das Wissen von den Lebensaltern in Literatur, Kunst und Theologie. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter.
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Abstract

Human ageing is always subject to cultural interpretation. The continuous process of maturing and decline thus only becomes recognisable and significant with the idea of life stages. Here, topoi such as those of the simple child or the wise grey head as habitual patterns of understanding and thought reveal the social and cultural knowledge of life stages in tradition and change. The papers in this volume examine sources from biblical tradition right through to the 21st century and enquire into the argumentative force of the topic, with which apparently fixed ways of thinking can vary and thus open new perspectives on life stages.