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ERIC Number: ED266379
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug-24
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Profound Childhood Religious Experience.
Armstrong, Thomas
Recent research into the religious lives of children has been influenced by various contemporary theories of child development including Fowler's (1981) "stages of faith" model. Profound religious states among children seem to have been neglected, yet the literature in this field attests to the existence of these states. The presence of these states may indicate a hidden developmental line in childhood which complements the developmental pathways of most of western developmental psychology. Biographical and autobiographical literature contains accounts of profound religious experiences such as those of Dante and Blake. Formal religious research surveys and child self-reports also report religious states in children. Two major lines of development are recognized. The first, called"up from the body" recognizes the existence of consciousness fused to physical existence. The second, called "down from the spirit" recognizes the journey from a higher level of nonmaterial existence to a more confining bodily existence. Religious states in children may not be shared by the child but instead may be pushed into the child's unconscious. Research methods using religious music, imagery experiences, and incense may help awaken religious memories. Further exploration into profound religious states in childhood promises to open up new areas of child psychology. (ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A