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Children's Spirituality: What it is and Why it Matters
by Rebecca Nye
Publisher:Church House Publishing (CHP) part of Hymns Ancient & Modern
Spirituality has still to gain credibility in some Christian circles. However Rebecca Nye dispatches any such scepticism with a carefully argued case, suggesting that children’s spirituality is a formative influence on their development. It was Nye, after all, who introduced Godly Play to Britain. Children, she maintains, delightfully lack adult need to define and categorise, thereby separating religious from non-religious. They see mystery as a normal component of existence. Their world erupts with wonder. Therefore Nye reasons that it is time for Churches to take this on board and assess the spiritual merits of all they offer to their children.
That is quite a challenge, but her 'Think and discuss...' interjections help focus the mind, and the later chapters offer more detailed guidance. She suggests that our telling of Bible stories should lack prescriptive explanation, a neglect that would still terrify many a Church. Nye even suggests that Churches aren't necessarily the best places to encounter children's spirituality - the bath may be better.
There is much here to prompt thought, to encourage conversation, and to transform what we do. It is all presented in a well organised accessible style. I would certainly recommend it to those who work with children, and those who do not see such activity as their particular forté - adding also those who avoid it like the plague.
Reviewer: Paul Scott (23/11/09)