Posts in Category: book reviews

ANVIL Journal of Theology and Mission

“Doing theology with a child in the midst” is at the heart of the Child Theology Movement (CTM www.childtheology.org). We do theology this way in the hope that the theological reflection and engagement that comes from this can inform the mission and ministry of the whole church, not just work with children. This phrase is taken from Matthew 18:2 and reflects the action of Jesus in responding to his disciples’ question about who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

CTM evolved from international conferences about children at risk; reports of these conferences can be found on our website and give an understanding of the breadth and scope

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Thatcher, Adrian. Theology and Families. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publ. Ltd, 2007.

Thatcher, Adrian. Theology and Families. Oxford, England: Blackwell Publ. Ltd, 2007.

“I am still shocked at the lack of attention this literature ( ie that dealing with family, sexuality and marriage) gives to children…. Given the teaching of Jesus about children, this hiatus is extraordinary… Elsewhere, child neglect is crime.”- Preface ix.
Opening words like these can’t help but catch the attention of anyone committed to the aims of CTM and hungry for further well-prepared food to inform and stimulate our understanding of Christian discipleship with children set by Jesus at its heart, and both the menu and the content of what I found in Adrian Thatcher, ‘Theology and Families’, has not disappointed!
From the outset I found his work clearly and logically presented. Especially helpful is an early, thoroughgoing review, of whole

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Godly Play

Godly Play – European Perspectives on Practice and Research

Ed Martin Steinhauser and Rune Oystese

Munster: Waxmann 2018

This is a wide-ranging and substantive resource for all who are interested in Christian Education in general, and Godly Play (GP) in particular.  It is a collection of papers from fifty authors most in English and some in German covering a breadth of perspectives, a range of descriptions, a variety of research and analysis, and information on how Godly Play has reached and developed in 17 countries.  The publication came out of a day conference in Riga Latvia, held in September 2016. Prospective readers will be interested to know that it contains a typically open and honest piece by Jerome Berryman, the founder of Godly Play.

Before presenting

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Clifton-Soderstrom, Michelle, and David Bjorlin. Incorporating Children in Worship: Mark of the Kingdom

Review for the Child Theology Movement Web site, 21.09.2017
Clifton-Soderstrom, Michelle, and David Bjorlin. Incorporating Children in Worship: Mark of the Kingdom. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2014

In his forward, the United Methodist Bishop, William H Willimon of Duke Divinity School writes:”Some of the most revolutionary, counter-cultural statements that Jesus made were about children…in the realm of God, helpless, dependent, vulnerable, of marginalized children are at the centre, the point of Incarnation.”
The authors share this unequivocal and enthusiastic conviction regarding the significance of children in our understanding and experience of church life and mission:
” God’s saving history would look radically different without children; to the point that it would not be recognizable as Christianity.”
The particular focus of their study is to address what they identify as an ecclesially debilitating lack of scholarly

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Couture, Pamela, Seeing Children, Seeing God: A Practical Theology of Children and Poverty

Review for Child Theology Movement Web page. 21.09.2017

Couture, Pamela. Seeing Children, Seeing God: A Practical Theology of Children and Poverty. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2000.

In the forward and introduction , Pamela Couture’s study is described a response to the need for “…a holistic theology and praxis that incorporates the reality of poverty and the plight of children as integral to the church’s theology and practice,” and as offering “…an ethical lens through which we can focus the general work of pastoral and practical theology.”

The opening chapter of her study sets the study in the context of a global overview of children’s poverty, helpfully discriminating between material poverty and what she terms, the poverty of tenuous connections. She argues for the importance of an appreciation of relational deprivation of children

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Allen, Rev. Dr. Amy. “Reading for Inclusion: The Girl from Galilee (Luke 8:40-56).”

Allen, Rev. Dr. Amy. “Reading for Inclusion: The Girl from Galilee (Luke 8:40-56).” Journal of Childhood and Religion 7, (2017): 1–17.

Review for CTM Web page 21.09.2017

The Girl from Galilee – or as she more paternalistically known, Jairus’ daughter- lived through an extraordinary, life-renewing, encounter with Jesus. It is this encounter, as related by Luke, that Amy Allen helps us to revisit, taking the child, rather than the adults involved, as the guiding perspective.
I found this an excellent example of how a child-grounded approach to scripture can bring fresh exegetical and interpretative insights and one that is all the more to be welcomed as it comes with open access via the free on-line Journal of Childhood and Religion, JCR:
http://childhoodandreligion.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Girl-from-Galilee-WITH-HEADER.pdf
The JCR, now in its seventh volume is an excellent source of

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Steinberg, Naomi. The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible

CTM Book Review. -Aug 2016

Steinberg, Naomi. The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible. Hebrew Bible Monographs 51. Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2013.

In its focus, its treatment of the material and its style of presentation, Naomi Steinberg’s study, is to my mind a quality addition to the literature that can stimulate and inform the development of biblically grounded child theology.

Her treatment of child and childhood issues within the context of Hebrew or OT scriptures is particularly welcomed as there is not much, focused and serious study, available in this area.

Whilst its purpose is firmly fixed upon the exploration and elucidation of childhood as revealed in OT Scripture, the societal perceptions that it uncovers also add to our understanding of the socio-religious background to Jesus’ teaching and engagement with children

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Entry Point

 

ENTRY POINT:
A fascinating evening with the book’s two authors
15 MAY 2014

View article

Re-Imagining the Seminary: International Conference on Theological Education Leadership 11–14 September 2013 Bucharest, Romania. View report

Child Theology in Africa: Exploring current themes and issues 11-15 November 2013, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
(This event has taken place)

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