Re-Imagining Childhood

REL854
Spring 2017
W 9:00am - 10:20am
Area: 
Area IV
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

Re-imagining Childhood invites course participants into a critical study of childhood as found in scripture and through major thinkers in the Christian tradition. We will consider the changing constructions of childhood across time, in both church and society, toward exploring what theological meanings of human personhood find expression in the particular ways we view children and childhood. How does attention to the childhood of God reframe or enlarge our perspectives on the nature of the Divine?  From practical theology’s transformational perspective, we will address several contemporary global justice issues involving children, such as child trafficking, children of war, child poverty, HIV/AIDS, and child abuse. And, drawing on the frameworks of several contemporary scholars of childhood and religion, we will explore what it means to welcome children in the church and the world today, focusing on ministries with children in light of a theologically reimagined view of childhood. The course includes a focus on pastoral care with children, and engaging children’s literature in ministry with children and their families. 

Background Expected: 

None

Course Requirements: 

Reading  and class attendance each week (10%)

4 written assignments: participant observation in a faith community (25%); interview/play session with a child (20%); annotated bibliography of children’s literature (20%) ; final practical theological synthesis of emergent theology of childhood (25%)

Basis of Evaluation: 

See above for weighting of assignments. Default is credit/no credit.

Basis for grade: work will be graded; students must earn a grade of HP or higher on final assignment to receive credit.