Children’s Spiritual Development:
An emerging research field
Eleonora Papaleontiou –Louca, PhD
Associate Professor in Psychology
• “Spiritual development—and its relatives,
spirituality, religion, faith, and belief—is one of the
issues and a blind spot in children’s development (Roehlkepartain,
E. P., Benson, Scales, P., Kimball, L. & Ebstyne King P., 2008). The
historic marginalization of religion and spirituality in the social
sciences is probably related to the academy’s biases about religion.
……Yet, there is recently a growing recognition that spiritual
development is an important, if complex, dimension of life that
must be better understood and nurtured within a holistic
understanding of youth development” (Roehlkepartain et al, 2008,
• Traditionally, developmental theory has been largely dismissive of
the idea that children have genuine spiritual experiences and
capacities (e.g., Goldman, 1964; Kohlberg, 1984; Piaget, 1929 ;
Wilber, 1996). Children have generally been seen as developmentally
immature, without sufficient intellectual growth to manifest
anything that might be understood as meaningfully reflective and/or
spiritual and were generally considered as deficient in ability to
experience spiritual experiences and a relationship with God.
Recent Developments in Spirituality
• More recent research studies and
accounts, however, find that children
have innate spiritual capacity and a
to know more about the mental world and the Divine
(Berryman, 1991; Cavelletti, 1992; Hardy, 1979).
• Indeed, there is a growing body of evidence
documenting spiritual experiences and capacities in
childhood (Armstrong, 1985; Hart, 2003; Hay & Nye,
1998; Hoffman, 1992; Piechowski, 2001; Robinson,
1978, 1983) and research in adolescent spirituality
and spiritual development has risen dramatically
(Bridges & Moore, 2002; Dowling, Gestsdottir,
Anderson, von Eye, & Lerner, 2003; King & Benson,
2005; Lerner, 2004; Youniss, McLellan, & Yates, 1999).
What is really the case?
• Spirituality, is indeed an aspect of human development and
overall human health, all but ignored in the annals of child
psychology, though, “there is a growing body of evidence
documenting spiritual experiences and capacities in childhood
(Armstrong, 1985; Hart, 2003; Hay & Nye, 1998; Hoffman, 1992;
Piechowski, 2001; Robinson, 1978, 1983 in Hart, 2005,3).
• Nevertheless, children, according to Hart (2003) do have a
secret spiritual life. They have spiritual capacities and
experiences- profound moments that shape their lives in
enduring ways. From moments of wonder to finding inner
wisdom, from asking the big questions about meaning and life
to expressing compassion and even to seeing beneath the
surface of the material world, these experiences serve as
touchstones for our life as spiritual beings on earth.
• But such spiritual awareness is often dismissed ,
worse, labeled as pathology by adults with no
map for understanding them. This “signal” can
close down a child and become a barrier in his/her
spiritual growth.
What do we mean by ‘Spirituality’?
• In spite its subjective, vague, personal, and difficult to
articulate nature, spirituality has been defined as meaning
making, feelings of connectedness to others, self, and/or a
higher power, as well as a processes of searching for
meaning and purpose, and the openness to and search for
self-transcendence, in which the self is embedded in
something greater than the self, including the sacred
(Goldestein, 2010, Hart, 2005).
• Spirituality refers to one’s engagement with what s/he
considers holy, divine, or beyond the material world Miller
& Thoresen 2003) and includes
reflections on the transcendental and
the metaphysical.
• It is a sense of where we came from and
where we are and where we’re going to (Hart, 2005, 8).
‘Spirituality’ vs. ‘Religiosity’
• Spirituality, morality, religion and ethics are closely linked.
• The terms “spiritual development”, “faith development” and “development
of religious understanding” have different meanings, but are often used
• Religiosity and spirituality are overlapping concepts. In this sense,
spirituality represents a personal inner state of being that can be found
within or outside the context of religion (Goldestein, 2010, 205-206, Beck, 1986;
Canda, 1997; Carroll, 1998; Chandler, Holden, & Kolander, 1992; Cook et al., 2000;
Hinterkopf, 1994; Hodge, Cardenas, & Montoya, 2001; Ingersoll, 1994;Pargament &
Mahoney, 2002; Shafranske & Maloney, 1990; Westgate, 1996).
• Faith and spirituality are NOT mutually exclusive. Perhaps the common
denominator and anchor point that can bind religion and spirituality
together and at the same time demarcate their differences, is the concept
of the sacred.
Someone can therefore be:
*Spiritual & Religious
*Spiritual, but not religious
*Religious, but not spiritual
*Neither spiritual nor religious
(Zinnbauer, 1997)
Types of Spiritual Experiences (A)
Among others spirituality involves :
• Insight, Reflective thought and Curiosity about the
world, expressesed in questions such as:
Who am I? Why am I here? Where do we come
from? What is the meaning of and purpose of
life / death? Why should I act rightly? Why is
there so much wrong in the world?
• Self-transcendence in which the self is embodied in
something greater than the self including the sacred;
• the search for connectedness to others and to
someone greater than the self;
• A posture of contribution, generosity and gratitude
• Sensing values, ideas about good and evil or
what matters;
• Experience of mystery, wonder and awe.
(Hay & Nye 2006, Margaret Crompton, Beck ,1992 , Benson,
Types of Spiritual Experiences (B)
understanding, trusting or experiencing God
feeling a profound inner peace
having inner strength to make it through a difficult time
feeling complete joy and ecstasy
feeling an overwhelming sense of love and connectedness
asking /having a strong sense of meaning and purpose in life
empathy and compassion
wondering and philosophizing / search for insight and wisdom
experiences in nature and in community
(Roehlkepartain, E. et al, 2008; Hart,2006; Reimer & Furrow, 2001; Büssing, A.,
Ostermann, T., & Matthiesen, P. F., 2006).
Spirituality: In its broader Sense
Moreover, spirituality in its broader
sense might include:
aspirations, moral sensibility,
creativity, love and friendship,
response to natural and human
beauty, scientific and artistic
endeavour, appreciation and wonder
at the natural world, intellectual
achievement, physical activity,
surmounting suffering and
persecution, selfless love, the quest
for meaning and values by which to
Thus, there appears to be an
expression of spirituality which might
be appreciated and nurtured in every
(Roehlkepartain, E et al
Young People’s Experiences—and whether they are spiritually meaningful
Have Had This Experience . . .
Have Never Had This
But It Was Not
Spiritually Meaningful
And It Was Spiritually
Having inner strength to make it through a difficult time.
Feeling a profound inner peace.
Feeling complete joy and ecstasy.
Feeling an overwhelming sense of love.
Experiencing God’s energy, presence, or voice.
Experiencing a feeling of emotional closeness or connection to
the people around you.
Meeting or listening to a spiritual teacher or master.
Feeling of being oneness with the earth and all living things.
Seeing a miraculous (or not normally occurring) event.
Experiencing a healing of your body (or witnessing such a
Experiencing angels or other guiding spirits.
Encountering a great spiritual figure who is no longer alive.
Communicating with someone who has died.
(Roehlkepartain, E et al ( 2008), p.1
Positive Correlations
Researchers have found positive correlations between
spirituality and several positive psychological outcomes
(Richards & Bergin, 1997) including self-esteem (Falbo &
Shepperd, 1986; Pedersen, 1999; Pedersen, Williams, &
Kristensen, 2000), subjective well-being (Diener, Suh,
Lucas, & Smith, 1999; Ellison, 1991; Fabricatore, Handal, &
Fenzel 2000; Myers & Diener, 1995; Pedersen et al., 2000;
Witter, Stock, Okun, Goldstein & Haring, 1985), and
physical health (George, Larson, Koenig, & McCullough,
2000;Larson & Larson, 2003; Musgrave, Allen, & Allen, 2002;
Pedersen, 1999; Pedersen et al. 2000), mental health and
well-being, i.e. any form of belief seems to help patients
(Mohr & Huguelet, 2004; Mofidi, Devellis, et al 2006; Mofidi,
DeVellis, et al 2007),sense of meaning/ purpose in live, and
less chances to engage in at-risk behavior (Davis et al
Lack of Spirituality and
Negative Correlations
In addition, the lack of spirituality in one’s life
has been associated with several negative
behavioral and psychological outcomes
including suicide and anxiety (Baker &
Gorsuch, 1982; Davis, Kerr, & RobinsonKurpius, 2003; Gartner, Larson, & Allen,
1991; Sturgeon & Hamley, 1979), depression
(Wright, Frost, & Wisecarver, 1993), stress
(James & Samuels, 1999), and substance
abuse (Hodge, Cardenas, & Montoya, 2001;
Maton & Zimmerman, 1992).
Spirituality: An Innate Feature? (A)
• Spiritual thoughts and feelings are as much a
part of the growth process for young children as
their physical, mental, or emotional
•It can be argued that all children have
some inherent spirituality which should
be considered in order to achieve a truly
holistic picture of their developmental
needs (Seden, 2005).
. According to Hay and Nye (1998) spirituality
is innate in children, as is something
biologically built into the human species, an
holistic awareness of reality which is potentially
to be found in every human being (p.57).
Spirituality: An Innate /Universal feature?
• According to O’Murchu (2000) the interest in
spirituality stems from a natural human tendency
to seek out the ultimate meaning and purpose of
life in a complex universe.
• Tacey (2003) also believes that all people, and
particularly youth, have an innate spiritual
• Rolheiser (1998) too believes that everyone
develops a personal spirituality. He defines this
as a sense of who we are, our history and our
future. According to this view, spirituality is
part of a common human experience.
Spirituality: An Innate Feature? (C)
• Hart (2003) considers that children are likely
to experience spirituality and an intimate
knowledge of God, even without any formal
religious training.
• Hart interviewed more than 100 children and
adults about their experiences. The inspiring
accounts he reports reveal that often
independently of, and sometimes despite, their
parents, children enjoy rich and rewarding
relations with the spiritual side of life.
• He concludes by proposing the encouragement of
spirituality in children by recognizing them as
complete spiritual beings, and he offers a
"spiritual curriculum" intended to nurture a child's
personal power and perspective (Donna Chavez).
Spirituality and the Brain (A)
• Hardy (1979) says the capacity to create
a personal spirituality, is in fact hard-wired
into the human brain.
• More recent work in brain science (Albright &
Ashbrook, 2001; Newberg,D’Aquili & Rause, 2001;
Ramachandran & Blakeslee, 1998) tends to confirm
the Hardy hypothesis. The research shows the
brain’s inbuilt capacity to respond to the type
of experiences that some might interpret as
“religious.” The researchers locate the specific
areas of the brain that are affected by spiritual /
religious experiences during their occurrence.
Spirituality and the Brain (B)
Vilayanur Ramachandran
2006), a respected
neurologist from the
University of California in
San Diego, identified with
his colleagues a region of
the brain that appeared to
be closely related to spiritual
thoughts. The researchers
gave the area in question,
which is situated behind the
left ear, the catchy name
‘the God module’
(as it appeared to have a
noticeable increase in
neuronal circuitry and brain
activity related to religious
experience /words).
Children’s Spirituality
• Many children actively search for spiritual understanding,
beginning at a young age and appear to have an inbuilt curiosity
about the world, which expresses itself in wonder and awe and in
questions about life, death and their meaning.
• Of course, these innate spiritual tendencies of children coexist with
immaturity, selfishness, and naïveté. These are developmental
capacities whose full potential and meaning may unfold through
the course of a life (Hart, 2005).
• both adults and peers often discouraged
spiritual experience;
• kids are often very hesitant to speak of such
experiences, and
• researchers are often biased and /or ignore
aspect of a child's being.
• The success of Harry Potter may indicate the way children need
to engage with magic, mystery, terror and fantasy. There is a
message in these books for parents / teachers about nurturing
children’s creativity and their spiritual and imaginative life, fostering
in this way, their ability to manage the adversities of life and build
emotional resilience.
• Similarly, children's thoughts and
feelings about God or other
spiritual themes appear to be a
natural part of human
development, a search for some
force in the universe that
represents eternity and the
absence of change.
• Research findings also show that
adolescence is a religious
transitional period, including the
search for God (Kirkpatrick &
Shaver, 1990).
• Even children who are not
raised in a religious home are
likely to ask spiritual questions.
The Right of Spirituality
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Child (UNCRC)(1991) accepts spiritual development as
a category of human development worthy of protection
•Article 27 recognizes “the right of every child to a standard
of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual,
moral and social development”.
•Article 17 identifies the right of “access to information and
material from a diversity of national and international
sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his/ her
social, spiritual and moral well-being and
physical and mental health”, and
•Article 14 notes “the right of the child to freedom
of thought, conscience and religion”.
Spiritual and religious rights
Spiritual and religious rights include the
right to freedom from discrimination in
respect of status or beliefs; the right to
freedom of thought, conscience and
Children can expect adults to meet
their responsibilities towards them
to promote their physical, mental,
emotional, and social development,
including their spiritual needs,
according to their developmental age
and understanding and the relevant
cultural expression of those within their
faith communities.
Spirituality and morality
All children have a capacity for
forming moral judgements. Carl Rogers believed that
children and adults are able to reach their full potential
as people if the core conditions of warmth, empathy
and positive regard are met. This might suggest that
children need their spirituality and moral development
to be nurtured by empathic adults.
• Neglect of childrens' sense of truth, justice or mystery may
leave them expressing their terrors and pain in ways which
society may find unacceptable. Anger and despair can be
expressed outwards, as violence towards others, or can be
turned inwards onto themselves, which can result in
depression or self-harm. It is therefore important to respect
and nurture general spiritual qualities in children and young
people rather than to leave a vacuum, which may have
unwanted, sad and in some circumstances, tragic
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development:
As individuals go through the three levels, their
moral thinking becomes more internalized:
Preconventional reasoning: lowest level of
moral development; moral reasoning is
based on external rewards and
punishments- the child has no internalization
of moral values, moral reasoning is
controlled by external rewards and
Conventional reasoning: middle level of
moral development; children follow some
laws and rules simply because they are
laws and rules - but these are standards
imposed by other people, such as parents,
school, or by society’s laws.
Postconventional reasoning: highest level
of moral development; reasoning based on
personal moral standards- moral
development is internalized and not based
on external standards.
Elkind’s Stages of Faith Development
• The "global" stage. Until age 6 or 7, Elkind says, most children lack
an understanding of abstract belief, and therefore can't
conceptualize the differences between religious faiths. They can
appreciate religious symbols and rituals, but won't necessarily connect
them to the notion of an "invisible" God.
•The "concrete" stage. Children ages 7 to 12 are still very grounded in
the concrete, and are beginning to develop a greater sense of spiritual
identity based on personal experience and religious practice (e.g. go to
church); Identity is linked to activities or church. Elkind says that rituals,
such as lighting candles in church are very effective in helping children
this age understand religious themes.
•The "personal connection" stage. 10-12 years: No longer focus on
outward actions and church, but instead to inner beliefs. Religious
identity is not just attending church, but involves thinking, choosing, and
doctrines/ beliefs. So, in pre-adolescence, a feeling of personal
closeness to God often emerges, in the form of an actual relationship.
For some young teens, Elkind says, "God becomes a confidante,
because you don't want to share your thoughts with anyone else who
will tell your secrets."
Thus progression moves from confusion, to concrete referents, to
more abstract understandings.
Fowler's Stages of Faith Development
(modified by Thompson and Randall)
Stage 0: Undifferentiated (Primal) Faith ( (birth to 2 years). The earliest faith is the
fund of basic trust and hope in the care of others. Is characterized by an early
learning of the safety of their environment (i.e. warm, safe and secure vs. hurt,
neglect and abuse). If consistent nurture is experienced, one will develop a sense of
trust and safety about the universe and the divine. Conversely, negative experiences
will cause one to develop distrust with the universe and the divine. Faith experience
of infancy is built upon secure attachments. A caregiver’s nurturance, protection, and
availability provide the basis for the earliest grasp of divine care.
Stage 1: Intuitive-Projective Faith (Preschool years)
A preschooler’s experience of faith is rooted in the young child’s imagination, intuitive,
and conceptual qualities. Faith is magical, imaginative, intuitive, and illogical, filled
with fantasy and fascinated by stories of the power of God and the mysteries of birth
and death,which are internalized in terms of the concerns of children of this age (e.g.
protection from threat, evil, sickness and dependability of adults). This stage is
characterized by the psyche's unprotected exposure to the unconscious. Thought and
language development facilitate the use of symbols.
Stage 2: Mythic-Literal Faith (mostly in school children)
Faith is captured in the stories that children hear and tell about God, and the
meanings that their literal but logical interpretations of these stories provide about
human relations with the divine. Participation in the symbols and observances of the
religious community fosters the initial religious beliefs in oneself. In this stage
children have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their
deities are almost always anthropomorphic.
Stages of Faith Development (contin.)
Stage 3: Synthetic-Conventional Faith (12 yrs to adulthood)
Faith is encompassed in a fairly uncritical, tacit acceptance of the conventional
religious values taught by others, centred on feelings of what is right and wrong,
especially in interpersonal relationships. It is characterized by conformity to religious
authority and the development of a personal identity. Any conflicts with one's beliefs are
ignored at this stage due to the fear of threat from inconsistencies.
Stage 4: Individuative-Reflective Faith (Late adolescence, early adult years)
Faith is forged from personal reflection and experiences that may cause the
adolescent or adult to question prior assumptions and to reconstruct new and different
beliefs and commitments that are more personally meaningful, individualized, and
depend less on the guidance of authorities. The individual takes personal responsibility
for his or her beliefs and feelings, there is an openness to a new complexity of faith, but
this also increases the awareness of conflicts in one's belief.
A stage of struggle.
Stage 5: Conjunctive Faith (Adulthood)
Faith confronts but also accepts the paradoxes and contradictions of religious life:
the irrational mysteries of prayer and worship, but also the rational reflections of belief
and values, for example. The individual resolves conflicts from previous stages by a
complex understanding of a multidimensional, interdependent "truth“.
Stage 6: Universalizing Faith (Adulthood)
Faith is grounded in universal values and truths – e.g. justice, love, and compassion
– that may cause individuals to take unusual (sometimes radical) steps to live out their
faith, such as selfless devotion to the poor (as with Mother Teresa) or non-violent (as
with Gandhi) or even violent (as with Dietrich Bonhoeffer) resistance to political wrong..
This level of faith development is rarely found. Some might cal it “enlightenment".
Trust and Faith
• Erik Erikson gave a great attention the
potential role of religion and spirituality
in development. For example, he suggested that the
successful resolution of the first stage of development
brings about the virtue of hope, which “is the enduring
belief in the attainability of fervent wishes” (1964, p.
118) and consequently of the virtues of ‘hope’,
‘faith’, and ‘trust’… (1964).
• Erikson acknowledged that religion can serve
throughout the life span as a source of hope.
Hopefulness over time is transformed into mature
faith, allowing one to believe without concrete
‘evidence’ that the universe or God is trustworthy…
Parents Resemble ‘God’
• The parent-child relationship seems a key
to understanding children’s experiences of God as loving,
powerful, caring, nurturing, punishing, close or distant
(Dickie et al, 1997; Tamminen, 1994).
• Research shows that child-God and adolescent-God
relationships are parallel to attachments to parents and
• For example, research showed associations between
children’s and adolescents’ images of God as
nurturing, caring and loving on the one hand, and
nurturing images of parents on the
(Hertel & Donahue, 1995,Dickie et al, 2004)
What we can do?
• The evidence of these experiences and innate
capacities challenges conventional views
of spiritual life in childhood and therefore has significant
implications for the care and education of young people.
• Schools, together with families should enact activities
(e.g., programs) that would provide children with the
resources needed to “build and to pursue healthy lives that
make productive contributions to self, family, and community”
(Lerner et al,2006,70).
• Hay and Nye (1998) encourage the introduction of a
framework for understanding and exploring spiritual
development in child and youth, implementing research and
practice that respects the cultural and social diversity of both
religious and nonreligious settings and the lifespan
developmental processes of children.
10 Ways to Nurture Children’s Spiritual Development
1. Get outside. Enjoy nature with your child. Sleep under the stars. Get simple. Let nature imprint a
feeling of sacredness, spirituality and a sense of wonder.
2. Respect and value your child's spirit. Listen to their innermost thoughts and insights and let
them know you value those insights. Help them learn to listen to their own inner voice.
3. Create a bedtime spiritual ritual. It can be talking to God about your day, saying prayers,
meditating or chanting together. Let your child see that this routine, which is part of everyday life, is
enjoyable and inspiring.
4. Be an example. A wise man from India, Shree Ma, says the mother is the child's first Guru. Let
your child see you practicing devotion to God. You are the best example to your child of how to
relate to God and make God a part of everyday life.
5. Read spiritual stories to children including the lives of the saints. These stories show people
living their lives with love, kindness, compassion and devotion to God.
6. Emphasize compassion and tolerance. Show your child that everyone has good things and
bad things about them. When you child points out something bad about a friend. You can listen and
then say, "That's true. But you know Sophie also makes you laugh a lot and is very fun to be with."
7. Visit spiritual places - from ashrams to churches. Foster a sense of wonder for these divine and
sacred places. Learn to cherish prayer in all its forms and in many different places.
8. Allow your child to be your spiritual teacher. Ask him questions about the big issues of life
and listen to his answers. Develop a thoughtful and respectful dialogue with him.
9. Remember you are awakening your child's divinity not creating it. She has come to you as a
gift from God and is already very connected to God. You needn't impose your ideas as much as
nurture her relationship with God.
10. Teach her the power of prayer. When you see an accident and someone is hurt, rather than
becoming afraid, pray with your child. Ask God to send love and light to the injured person and
relieve their suffering.
Fostering Spiritual Growth in
Children, Adolescents & Adults
( Adaptated from Thompson & Randall, 1999)
1.Respect for the ways that spiritual reflection changes with age and growth in thinking, judgment,
and personality. This means that the ways that children interpret religious matters are accepted as suitable
for their age.
2. Opportunities to participate in religious observances that are calibrated to a child’s capacities for
understanding and involvement. This means that children and adolescents have roles that are meaningful
to them and respected and recognized by adults within the community.
3. Opportunities for intergenerational involvement in religious activity, as well as activities that are
oriented to the interests and needs of children.
4. The growth and maintenance of relationships – particularly within the family – that inspire trust,
security, and empathic human understanding.
5. Respect for individuality in spiritual understanding and its development. This means that pathways
for growth of faith are individualized based on life experience, individual personality, and how persons
interpret their own spirituality.
6. Human support to individuals of all ages during periods of difficulty or crisis, personal despair, or
transition during which familiar beliefs may be tested and reconsidered.
7. Acceptance of personal searching as part of the process of spiritual development. This means a
willingness by others to engage constructively with the child or adolescent in questioning and exploring
more deeply the fundamental beliefs that are held by parents and others in the majority culture, without
inspiring fear of rejection, denigration, or expulsion from the family or community. At the same time,
encourage children / adolescent to pray for wisdom and divine illumination.
Encouraging Spiritual Development
through family
• Much of the research indicates that the
family is central for children’s spiritual
• Dozens of studies indicate that, in general,
church and school have minimal influence
unless they build upon religious practices in
the home (Hyde, 1990; Roehlkepartain,1993).
• The church should have strong programs
that build on family education AND
provide something for those without
family religious practices.
Child Theology
• Child Theology: Began to emerge in early
• Emphasis upon universality of spiritual
experience - children of every religion may
have such experiences.
• A religious belief or affiliation can provide
support and/or inner resilience in times of
• Need to encourage spiritual experiences,
which are part of the whole child (an
important emphasis today).
• Following Christ’s example, who placed a
“child in the midst” – we need to center our
theology on children.
• We need to see children as examples of what
we should be, not just use them for cute
In Sum
• Spiritual development, though a unique
stream of human development, cannot be
separated from other aspects of one’s being. As John
Bradford puts it: “For a human being, especially a child or young
person, to have a full quality of life, spirituality in all its aspects
must be nurtured and affirmed”( Bradford, 1995).
• Therefore, we don’t aim to split the field of child psychology into
intellectual and spiritual enterprises; but to try to shed light on
the diverse ways in which children experience spiritual life, to
help us recognize and facilitate the innate spiritual capacities
they have, and view their development and their problems in a
holistic way.
• A thorough understanding of a normative child and
adolescent development and family life is a necessary
precursor to assessing and treating concerns about
atypical development or other pathologies. This same premise
holds true in the area of normative faith and spiritual
development (Dell & Josephson, 2006).
• Available research suggests that spirituality
does have a powerful effect in life.
Spirituality has been found to be inversely related
to numerous negative outcomes and positively associated
with numerous positive outcomes (Roehlkepartain et al 2006).
• Competent, confident, committed, connected, caring
children, who also possess character will have the moral
orientation and the civic attitude to use their skills to
enact in themselves - behaviorally, morally, and spiritually to a better world beyond themselves. Such individuals will
act to sustain for future generations a society marked by
social justice, equity, and democracy and a world in which
all people may thrive (NCFY, Lerner et al, 2006,70-71).
Albright C.R. & Ashbrook J.B. (2001). Where God Lives in the Human Brain (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London: Sage.
Benson, P. L., Roehlkepartain, E. C., & Rude, S. P.(2003). Spiritual development in childhood
adolescence: Toward a field of inquiry. Applied Developmental Science, 7, 204–212.
Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., Sesma, A., Jr., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2005). Adolescent spirituality.
In K. A. Moore & L. H. Lippman (Eds.), What do children need to flourish? Conceptualizing and measuring
indicators of positive development (pp. 25–40). New York: Springer Science + Business Media.
Berryman, J. (1991). Godly play: A way of religious education. San Francisco, CA, HarperCollins.
Bradford, J. (1995). Caring for the Whole Child: A Holistic Approach to Spirituality. Children's Society.
Cavalletti, S. (1992). The religious potential of the child: Experiencing scripture andliturgy with young
children. (2nd English edition). Chicago, IL: Liturgy Training Publications.
Dell, Mary Lynn & Josephson, Allan M. (2006). Working With Spiritual Issues of Children. Psychiatric
Annals; Mar2006, 36, 3, p.176
Erikson, E. H. (1964). Insight and responsibility. New York: Norton.
Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. New York: Norton.
Fowler, J. W. (1986). Faith and the structuring of meaning. In C. Dykstra and S. D. Parks (Eds.), Faith
development and Fowler (pp. 15–42). Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
Fowler, J. W., & Dell, M. L. (2006). Stages of Faith from Infancy Through Adolescence: Reflections on Three
Decades of Faith Development Theory. In E. C. Roehlkepartain, P. Ebstyne King, L., M. Wagener, & P. L.
Benson (Eds.), The Handbook of Spiritual Development
in Childhood and Adolescence (pp. 34-45).
Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Goldestein, S. (2010). The Exploration of Spirituality and Identity Status in Adolescence. Currents:
Scholarship in the Human Services, North America, Available at:
Hardy, A. (1979). The spiritual nature of man: A study of contemporary religious experience. Oxford:
Clarendon Press.
D. & Nye, R. (2006). The spirit of the child. Revised edition. London: Jessica Kingsley
Hart, T.(2003).The
Spiritual World
Library. ISBN: 1930722192
T. (2005).
Capacities ofSage.
and Youth. Handbook of
Childhood and
D., & Nye, R. (1998). The spirit of the child. London: Fount Paperbacks, HarperCollins
P. C.,
Pargament, K. I.,
R. W.,
Swyers, J. P., Larson,
B., et al.
Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 30, 52–77.
A. M. & Lynn
Dell M. (2004).
and spirituality.
Child and Adolescent
Clinics of
North America
- Vol. 13, Issue 1, Pages xv-xvii,
humans human:P. King, L.
& P.(pp.
(Eds.), The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and
W. R., & Thoresen,
C. E.58,
Spirituality, religion, and health: An emerging research
field. American
Newberg, A. E. D’Aquili & V. Rause, (2001). Why God Won’t Go Away. New York: Ballantine.
NCFY Putting Positive Youth Development into Practice, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services.
O’Murchu D. (2000). Religion in Exile: A Spiritual Vision for the Homeward Bound Dublin:
Rolheiser, R. (1998). Seeking Spirituality. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
C., Benson P.Moving
L., Kingto
P. the
E., &scientific
L. M. (2006).Roehlkepartain,
Spiritual development
development in childhood and adolescence. 1 - 15.
Seden J. (2005). Child spirituality.. The Open University. Updated 1st December 2005.
Tacey, D. (2003). The Spirituality Revolution. Sydney: Harper Collins.
God Lives
- Brain Research
and Religion
Alle Rechte vorbehalten:
V.S. & Blakeslee, S. (1998). Phantoms in the Brain .New York: William
Ε Υ Χ Α Ρ Ι Σ Τ Ω!

Slide 1