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AN EXPLORATION OF CHRISTIAN FAITH TRANSMISSION WITHIN THE FAMILY CONTEXT, DURING EARLY CHILDHOOD

Holmes, Sarah

[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2018.

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Abstract

Entitled ‘An exploration of Christian faith transmission within the family context, during early childhood’, this thesis was submitted 26.04.17 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. It sought to investigate the influence that Christian parents have upon the faith of their young children. First, it was necessary to uncover the essence of Christian faith in early childhood, in order to assess the factors that may influence it. Faith was viewed not only through a theological lens, but also by utilising a social sciences perspective. Hence, the theoretical underpinning took insight from the fields of psychology, education, child development, children’s spirituality and theology, exploring the origins of faith in early childhood within the Christian home and ascertaining whether faith is innate or passed on through human endeavour. The underlying enquiry throughout this thesis took note of the nature of faith nurture, particularly whether it is resourceful or toxic to the child. An observational tool was developed within the thesis for observing and documenting faith in childhood, seeking to capture an understanding that faith nurture should be a balance between both treasuring aspects of faith that are part of child’s ‘being’ in Christian families, and teaching and developing other facets. The empirical research utilised this tool to investigate the correlation of potentially influential factors with observations of the child’s faith. It was found that the influence of parents is highly significant on faith in early childhood, with the parent whom the child feels emotionally closest to, having the greatest influence. The reasons for parental attitudes and approaches to Christian nurture were frequently found to be subconscious, yet impacted greatly upon the faith of the child. This thesis contributes to knowledge regarding the nature of Christian faith in childhood and how this faith may be most effectively and resourcefully transmitted within the family context.

Bibliographic metadata

Type of resource:
Content type:
Form of thesis:
Type of submission:
Degree type:
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree programme:
PhD Theology PT Cliff College
Publication date:
Location:
Manchester, UK
Total pages:
358
Abstract:
Entitled ‘An exploration of Christian faith transmission within the family context, during early childhood’, this thesis was submitted 26.04.17 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. It sought to investigate the influence that Christian parents have upon the faith of their young children. First, it was necessary to uncover the essence of Christian faith in early childhood, in order to assess the factors that may influence it. Faith was viewed not only through a theological lens, but also by utilising a social sciences perspective. Hence, the theoretical underpinning took insight from the fields of psychology, education, child development, children’s spirituality and theology, exploring the origins of faith in early childhood within the Christian home and ascertaining whether faith is innate or passed on through human endeavour. The underlying enquiry throughout this thesis took note of the nature of faith nurture, particularly whether it is resourceful or toxic to the child. An observational tool was developed within the thesis for observing and documenting faith in childhood, seeking to capture an understanding that faith nurture should be a balance between both treasuring aspects of faith that are part of child’s ‘being’ in Christian families, and teaching and developing other facets. The empirical research utilised this tool to investigate the correlation of potentially influential factors with observations of the child’s faith. It was found that the influence of parents is highly significant on faith in early childhood, with the parent whom the child feels emotionally closest to, having the greatest influence. The reasons for parental attitudes and approaches to Christian nurture were frequently found to be subconscious, yet impacted greatly upon the faith of the child. This thesis contributes to knowledge regarding the nature of Christian faith in childhood and how this faith may be most effectively and resourcefully transmitted within the family context.
Thesis main supervisor(s):
Thesis co-supervisor(s):
Language:
en

Institutional metadata

University researcher(s):

Record metadata

Manchester eScholar ID:
uk-ac-man-scw:314552
Created by:
Holmes, Sarah
Created:
14th May, 2018, 16:36:24
Last modified by:
Holmes, Sarah
Last modified:
3rd June, 2019, 11:00:43

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