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ERIC Number: EJ815460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0141-6200
How Theologizing with Children Can Work
Buttner, Gerhard
British Journal of Religious Education, v29 n2 p127-139 Mar 2007
"Theologizing with children" has arisen from influences of philosophizing with children, from research in the Piagetian tradition and also from the interest of the Evangelical Church in Germany to "change to the child's perspective". It searches for the theological quality of children's remarks which are considered to be a precious contribution next to university theology. In this article the author, as a supporter of this approach, aims to raise a sensitivity for the children's starting points in theological considerations and for the concrete and imaginatively rich character of their oral language. Concerning the content of theological communication, the author refers to Wittgenstein's concept of a "language game". In terms of theology's "grammar", which assigns a place to a topic's single elements in relation to reality, it is helpful for a child to know a variety of biblical stories (in order to orient oneself towards coherent narrative patterns in the case of a special theological question and to speculate and to solve problems independently). Teaching in class may benefit from the suggestion to draw "mindmaps" of the children's orientations within theological language and structures of discourse in comparison with classical theology. A collection of interpretations about the question of God's omnipotence is given as an example. The discussion refers to "story-structure", "script" and "scenes" as three ways to organize and remember impressions and to the "domain specific approach" of Hirschfeld and Gelman. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany