Playing with God: Towards the Creation of New Models of Religious Education
MetadataShow full item record
The study of the relationship between religion and education in the lives of children is underrepresented in the field of religious studies. Part of the problem of studying this relationship stems from various ideological and political issues that have surrounded the traditional study of religious development in children. This essay examines how certain concepts of child psychology have shaped our contemporary understating of religious education in children. In particular, I examine how James Fowler and D. W. Winnicott’s theories about child psychology can be utilized to enhance our understating of the various ways children develop a religious worldview. Furthermore, I suggest that Fowler and Winnicott’s theories about child development can be expanded to help foster a new understanding of the vital role religious ideas play in the education of children. In the last part of my paper, I critique the state of contemporary religious education by drawing on the work of Gayatri Spivak and Paul Bramadat. Both Spivak and Bramadat suggest that an aesthetic education is required to cultivate a conversation that encompasses the broad spectrum of religious phenomenon. Most significantly, in this section I examine how the ideas of Fowler and Winnicott can be brought together in light of Spivak and Bramadat’s critique, to construct teaching methodologies for children that reflect the findings of contemporary scholarship in religious education. This essay attempts to expand the dialogue with revised conceptions of religious studies in order to develop pedagogies of religious education that are centered on a child’s capacity for creativity.