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God-Talk with Young Children: Notes for Parents & Teachers

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Teaching children about the central issues of religion rarely if ever occurs in public schools. This is due partly to fears about violating the freedom of religion. It is also due to the failure of many adults and teachers to acquire the kind of vocabulary that will enable them to talk about God and the issues of human life which God-talk entails. In this book, John M. Hul Teaching children about the central issues of religion rarely if ever occurs in public schools. This is due partly to fears about violating the freedom of religion. It is also due to the failure of many adults and teachers to acquire the kind of vocabulary that will enable them to talk about God and the issues of human life which God-talk entails. In this book, John M. Hull deals with both of these issues, concentrating on the latter. He acknowledges that it is not a public but a parental and church responsibility to nurture the faith of young children. Nevertheless he argues that conversation about God can still fulfill a strictly educational purpose. This study of children s conversations about God draws upon three major streams of the social sciences: (1) the tradition of cognitive stage development associated with Jean Piaget, (2) the use of psychoanalysis in understanding religious upbringing, and (3) hermeneutics and the art of interpretation. Chapter titles include The Power of a Concrete Theology, Thinking in Images, The Moral Order, Prayer, and the Bible, Family Life and the Origins of God-talk, and The Structure of Religious Conversation. In addition to introductory material and explanatory comments, each chapter reports actual conversations with children about God and religious issues. Background readings for each chapter are noted in a concluding section. Parents and teachers of young children will find this refreshing and realistic study especially useful, as will professors of practical theology and parish education. John M. Hull is Professor of Religious Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education and Continuing Studies in the University of Birmingham, England.


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Teaching children about the central issues of religion rarely if ever occurs in public schools. This is due partly to fears about violating the freedom of religion. It is also due to the failure of many adults and teachers to acquire the kind of vocabulary that will enable them to talk about God and the issues of human life which God-talk entails. In this book, John M. Hul Teaching children about the central issues of religion rarely if ever occurs in public schools. This is due partly to fears about violating the freedom of religion. It is also due to the failure of many adults and teachers to acquire the kind of vocabulary that will enable them to talk about God and the issues of human life which God-talk entails. In this book, John M. Hull deals with both of these issues, concentrating on the latter. He acknowledges that it is not a public but a parental and church responsibility to nurture the faith of young children. Nevertheless he argues that conversation about God can still fulfill a strictly educational purpose. This study of children s conversations about God draws upon three major streams of the social sciences: (1) the tradition of cognitive stage development associated with Jean Piaget, (2) the use of psychoanalysis in understanding religious upbringing, and (3) hermeneutics and the art of interpretation. Chapter titles include The Power of a Concrete Theology, Thinking in Images, The Moral Order, Prayer, and the Bible, Family Life and the Origins of God-talk, and The Structure of Religious Conversation. In addition to introductory material and explanatory comments, each chapter reports actual conversations with children about God and religious issues. Background readings for each chapter are noted in a concluding section. Parents and teachers of young children will find this refreshing and realistic study especially useful, as will professors of practical theology and parish education. John M. Hull is Professor of Religious Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education and Continuing Studies in the University of Birmingham, England.

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