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children spirituality


A relatively uncharted territory until recently, the concept of children as innate spiritual beings has garnered significant attention among scholars over the past two decades. Seminal studies by researchers provide practitioners with the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of the spirituality of children and their ability to seek and contemplate spiritual concepts (Ratcliff, 2007). The more that is learned about children’s spirituality, the more apparent it becomes that the Christian church in the United States generally fails to provide sufficient space for children to explore, develop, and share their spirituality. This potentially leads children to suppress or disconnect from their spirituality in later years and also deprives a Christian community of the ability to learn and grow from children’s unique experiences of God and spirituality. This paper examines the underlying theories that foster environments among Christian churches, where the ennoblement of a “grown-up faith”, and the resulting power adults hold because of that, inhibit the ability for children to be regarded and approached as capable of spiritual and faithful beliefs and understanding, apart from adult intervention.