Bill Randall has been immersed in story his entire life. He grew up the son of a pastor, his father being a natural storyteller. Bill, too became a minister in the early part of his career practicing what he now calls narrative care, listening to people’s stories. As a retired professor and gerontologist at St. Thomas University, he wants us to understand the power of our stories we age. Today we chat about how our strength lies in our stories and how to be a better listener. We talk about aging and spirituality including how he reconciled religion with spirituality.
About Dr. William Randall
William L. (Bill) Randall is a retired Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University (STU) on Canada’s Atlantic coast. Brought up in rural New Brunswick, he holds an A.B. from Harvard College, a Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and M.Div. and Ed.D. degrees from the University of Toronto.
After a ten-year career as a protestant minister with the United Church of Canada (1979-1989), serving parishes in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick, he taught English and Adult Education for four years at Seneca College in Toronto. In 1995, he began a 27 year career at STU where he taught a range of undergraduate courses in gerontology and helped to pioneer a unique approach to the study of aging known as narrative gerontology. Narrative gerontology blends insights from the humanities and social sciences to probe the complex dynamics of inner (or biographical) development in later life.
Bill has given keynotes, papers, and workshops on this approach at conferences and universities in Canada, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, and Spain. Co-recipient of the 2009 Theoretical Developments in Social Gerontology Award from the Gerontological Society of America, Bill is founding co-editor of theNarrative Works journal, founding organizer of the Narrative Matters international conferences, and author or co-author of over 70 publications on narrative gerontology and related topics, including eight books. Among these are Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old and The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life: Tales from the Coffee Shop, both published by Oxford University Press.
Connect with Bill Randall