Posts in Category: book reviews

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

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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:
The JCR, now in its seventh volume is an

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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


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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The Child in Christian Thought

The Child in Christian Thought
by Marcia Bunge
ISBN: ISBN-10: 0802846939 ISBN-13: 978-0802846938
Paperback: 513 pages
Publisher: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co (15 Jan 2001)

A survey of Christian writings about children covers 2,000 years of history and literature and features a wide variety of theologians commenting on the subject.

Recommended by: John Collier

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Children and the Theologians: Clearing the Way for Grace

Children and the Theologians: Clearing the Way for Grace 
by Jerome W. Berryman 
ISBN: ISBN-10: 0819223476 ISBN-13: 978-0819223470
Hardback: 276 pages
Publisher: Morehouse Publishing; 1 Jan 2010

As it happened I found myself reading Jerome Berryman’s Children and the Theologians at the same time as I was delving into Diarmaid MacCulloch’s extensive book, A History of Christianity (Penguin, 2009). The chief insight apparent from this unintended juxtaposition was that in mainstream Christianity, children and childhood, as seen by one of its keenest contemporary historians, were marginal to the point of invisibility. So Berryman’s book has a contribution to make to the story in which “something has been missed during the last 2,000 years”. (18)

The aim of his book is to describe the church’s past views of children in order to see

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List of Recommended Books

General, Introductory, What is the Child

Bonnie Miller: Let the Children Come: Reimagining Childhood from a Christian Perspective (Families and Faith Series)

Martin Marty: The Mystery of the Child (Religion, Marriage, and Family)


History of Child in Christianity

Marcia Bunge: The Child in Christian Thought and Practice (Religion, Marriage, and Family)

Jerome Berryman: Children and the Theologians: Clearing the Way for Grace

David Sims: The Child in American Evangelicalism and the Problem of Affluence: A Theological Anthropology of the Affluent American-Evangelical Child in Late Moder


David Jarman et al: Childhood’s Pattern: Christian Childhoods Explored

O.M. Bakke: When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity

Rowan Williams: Lost Icons


History of Childhood and Child

Cunningham: The Invention of Childhood

Aries: Centuries Of Childhood

Jenks: Sociology of Childhood: Essential Readings



Marcia Bunge (ed): The Child in the Bible

Hans-Ruedi Weber: Read More