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By Martin Warner

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Lord, lift thou up: the light of thy countenance upon us. 5–7) The general thrust of Professor Jeeves’ lecture was towards a sense of integration between religion and science. He also pointed us towards an understanding of the wholeness of the human person as something to which both religion and science direct us. Another Biblical expression of this integration of ourselves is in its understanding of the process of ageing. The sign of God’s blessing of Job, after all his afflictions, was that Job ‘lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations.

Lines of Communication Growing old is something that today we are often encouraged to believe is a matter for regret, particularly in our appearance. But actually there is great dignity in ageing well, and in fitting with comfort and grace how you live with your memory and experience in the condition of your age. In the lined and crumpled face of W. H. Auden 38 Between Heaven and Charing Cross it was possible to read the signs of a life that intertwined many forms of abuse with longing, vision and beauty; it was exemplified by restlessness.

Our survey of the kingdom of the mind has so far concentrated mainly on the personal dimensions of nostalgia. But in a borrowed nostalgia the character of life for which our longing is nurtured is invariably social. In this longing the relationship of two must be complemented by more than two in order to be itself, to be fulfilled. It cannot sustain the potential for exclusivity in mutual admiration. Nor is three a description of limitation; it is a symbolic number for God who is without limit. The social dimensions of this longing will take us to a consideration of the nature of our relationship with the three persons of the Trinitarian God, and a return to how science encourages our articulation of faith as social – always more than two.

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