From darkness to light: children speak of divine encounter

Lovelock, P. and Adams, K. (2017) From darkness to light: children speak of divine encounter. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 22 (1). pp. 36-48. ISSN 1364-436X

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Studies have shown that children share both positive and dark spiritual experiences. The former dominates the literature but whilst the need to address the dark side of spirituality has been raised it has not, as yet, been dealt with as widely as the more positive aspects (de Souza 2012). This paper draws on an empirical study with 44 children aged 8-11 who were interviewed in school after visiting a sacred space. Three key themes arising from their conversations are covered in this paper: divine encounter; physical feelings and fear. It is argued that the most appropriate way of understanding these phenomena is to draw on different fields and disciplines, notably although not exclusively theology, psychoanalysis, psychology and neuroscience are considered. The paper concludes that it is important to recognise both the light and dark and the blurred boundaries between them, in addition to different ways of perceiving them, in order to understand the whole child.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by Taylor and Francis. All rights reserved. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Divisions: Research and Innovation Centre
Depositing User: Dr Kate Adams
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 17:44
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 13:46

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