Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Doctoral Thesis in the Making

It just won't be mine, because while I would like an answer I don't want to do the research. Anyway, in of my classes a fairly complex question came to me that basically got the teacher with a deer in headlights look and no answer. Basically my question is that the concept of God that most denominations hold of an invisible, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, and all loving being is, in Piaget's developmental stages, a formal operations thought. When we teach this concept to children, who are in a preoperational development stage, they literally can not fully understand the concept. Thus, they adapt the concepts to the framework they understand. Doing so creates and influences their God image, and a psychologist, Ana Maria Rizzuto, argued that the God image we form as children will impact how we view and understand God for the rest of our lives. So for (a crude) example, if a child ask how old does God live and lives in heaven, and a Sunday school teacher answer that God is older than anyone else and lives in heaven, the child might construct an image of God which consist of an old man sitting on clouds. No matter how juvenile and incorrect this image is, Rizzuto argues that on some level this God image will always be present and influece the inidivudal's perception and relationship with God. The question is how Christian educators teach the nature and character of God to children in a way that does not impact their God image in undesirable ways?

If anyone has an answer to this question, let me know!


Post a Comment

<< Home