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Development of Faith and Spirituality
Transcript of Development of Faith and Spirituality
Fowler: Theory of Faith Development Historical Overview Methodist minister
Interactions with 300 people at a retreat for clergy and lay people
Begin formulating his theory Interviews with 359 individuals ranging from 3 1/2 to 84 years of age
Sample 97.8% white
Evenly divided between men and women
3.6% Other belief system Sample "the convenantal structure of our significant human relations is often made visible as much by our betrayals and failures of 'good faith' as by the times when we are mutually loyal and faithful"
-Stages of Faith "The stages, describing uniform and predictable ways of being in faith, are not primarily the matters of the contents of faith"
- Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian "Trying to identify and communicate differences in the styles, the operations of knowing and valuing, that constitute the action, the way of being that is faith"
-Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian Faith is broader than religion
Faith is universal
Relational nature of faith
Stages as a spiral figure
Theory Stages of Faith
Prelinguistic manifestation of faith arises in person's first years
Context of relationship with primary caretaker
First image of God is formed Begins at age 2 with the emergence of language
Construct first images of God based on perceptions, feelings and imaginative fantasy. Begins during early elementary (6-7)
See perspectives other than own
They are able to follow stories told to them
Accept what they hear as literal
No reflection Begins during early adolescence
Abstract thinking begins where they are able to integrate ideas from various sources
Peers, school, media, relgious community Initially thought it began in early adulthood but later said it begins 30-40 years of age
Self-definition becomes self-authored
Worldview Begins in midlife
Awareness of the complexity of life
Symbolism is appreciated with conceptual meanings
Deeply aware of convictions
Accepting of other faith traditions, while holding strong to own belief Experience a radical decentration from self
"Knowing" the world through the eyes of others different from them
Value God and other people from a standpoint of loving the creator for the creatures
Rare to find people in this stage
Ex. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa Faith Development
Movement through the stages Biological maturation
Religio cultural influences Created Dissonance that cannot be addressed by the current stage creates movement to the next stage Transitional Phases Prestage 1: Primal Faith Stage 1: Intuitive-Projective Faith Stage 2: Mythic-Literal Faith Stage 3: Synthetic-Conventional Faith Stage 4: Individuative-Reflective Faith Stage 5: Conjuctive Faith Stage 6: Universalizing Faith Endings
New Beginnings Research Initial research validated aspects of theory
Relationship between age, sex and stage of faith is somewhat evident
Lee (2002) validated stages by examining faith development among catholic students
Saw similar progression through faith Critique Ethnically and religously biased
Definition of faith thought to be generic
Conformist, individuaslistic assumptions associated with a Western Cultural Perspective
Stage 6-not enough examples exist
Parks: Faith Development Theory Historical Overiview Religous environments, work settings, and tenure as a college researcher, counselor, and professor. Faith-"The activity of seeking and dicovering meaning in the most comprehensive dimensions of our experience" People enact faith in their daily lives and viewing, "itself public in everyday acts of decisions, obedience, and courage" Focus: Exploring life's meaning in young adulthood. More abstract than religious belief Three forms of Development Cognition
Community Goal: Understanding Faith Four Period Associated with Faith Development End Goal "a more complex understanding of faith" Forms of Knowing Forms of Dependence A persons' emotion cements a vital pillar within an individual's foundation of faith development. Faith development can be evaluated in an individual's change of dependency among other individuals. Authority-Bound
Convictional Commitment Dependent/Counterdependent
Fragile Inner Dependence
Confident Inner Dependence
Interdependence Forms of Community Individuals strive to balance their “sense of agency” and the imperative to be in community with others. Individuals investigate their identity and values within diverse communities, places, and people to achieve this balance. Conventional Community
Open to other Imagination-"the higest power of the knowing mind" Three Parts Process
Act of naming
Ongoing creation if life itself Mentoring Communities An opportunity for young adults to develop intentional relationships with each other and with mentors which provides stimulation, respect, challenge, and support. Faith deemed more important to women than men.
Lee explored faith development at a catholic college and said these students redefined themselves within their prior, Catholic identity and did not pursue other faiths. Research Applications Student affairs professionals must cultivate their spiritual development in order to help this aspect of their students’ holistic development. Aside from mentoring communities, Parks’ theory applies to assessment of student organizations and judicial affairs. These three applications provide opportunities for students to investigate the existential aspects associated with their faith and spirituality. Neglects race, culture, and women’s development. American and Western emphasis of individualism which deemphasizes community is not found in other cultures and should be considered if her theory is appropriate for other cultures. Critique Structure Content