This pacesetting text considers a wide variety of topics related to the spiritual development of children. The chapters grew out of presentations at the first major conference to consider these important topics from a distinctly Christian perspective. The first section considers the important task of defining spirituality and summarizes some views of the spirituality of children, as reflected in history, theology and the Bible. Social influences on children's spirituality are considered, as well as how brain activity relates to spiritual experiences. The second major section highlights children's spirituality in the home. Here the development of the concept of God is considered, as well as how parents and children work together to construct understandings of spirituality. A third section reflects upon the spirituality of children in the church, including alternative perspectives of how spiritual growth and experience are best encouraged in that setting. The distinctive aspects of African American children and Latino children's spirituality are given careful attention. Schools and other settings are examined in the fourth section of the book, with an emphasis upon moral learning, encouraging faith development with preschoolers, how spirituality helps children cope with serious medical conditions and the stresses related to being children of missionaries, and best practices in reaching inner city children. The book concludes with a chapter that examines how Christians' views of children's spirituality are changing, and anticipates a follow up conference in the near future.
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