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An Introduction to Child Theology

James M. Houston

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cascade Books (February 17, 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1725285622
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1725285620
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.04 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches

About the Book

These essays in this book are pastoral and scholarly, to encourage parents to nurture and foster Christian family life by learning from scripture and history. The Bible, in both testaments, offers us stories that provide moral and spiritual substance to the nurture of the child and the family. Beginning with the mythopoetic story of Adam and Eve, and the fratricide of Abel by the envy of Cain, the stories of the sacrifices parents made, then moving on to the stories of Abraham and Isaac, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Hannah and her son Samuel, Jeremiah the child prophet, these stories form our moral imaginations. Further, for Christians, they all augur the promise of the Incarnation, with the birth of Jesus to Mary and Joseph. Then through the history of the Church, the role of the Child is further unfolded. It begins with Jesus teaching that to be as one of his disciples is to be a child. This is so radical that the subsequent churches have found it hard to follow. Perhaps one symbolic attempt was that of the monks' cowl which is a child's garment and is still worn in their monasteries. The book even explores the way that Christian maturity is one of childlikeness.

Table of Contents 

1. Preface by James M. Houston • ix


2. List of Contributors • xi 

3. Introduction: "But I am Only a Child!": Christian Formation Transforms Childhood 

                                 by James M. Houston • 1 

4. Chapter 1: The Childhood of Humanity in the Biblical Narrative by Jonathan Lipps • 7 

5. Chapter 2: Isaac the Son and the Shadow of Ishmael by Andrew Zack Lewis • 19 

6. Chapter 3: Fear and Love in the Book of Ruth by Kelley Lamb • 36 

7. Chapter 4: Wise Child-Rearing According to Proverbs by Bruce Waltke • 41 

8. Chapter 5: "Only a Boy"?: Jeremiah's Protest from the Perspective of Child Theology

                                     by Jonathan D. Bentall • 61 

9. Chapter 6: While Knit in My Mother's Womb: The Theology of Infancy in Psalm 139 

                                    by Keith Bodner • 76 

10. Chapter 7: The Genius of the Greek Mind: Education of Greek and Roman Children

                                   by Shirley Sullivan • 87 

11. Chapter 8: Scripture on the Birth and Infancy of Jesus

                                   by Markus Bockmeuhl and Evangeline Kozitza • 104


12. Chapter 9: Childhood in Islam and the Heritage of Shame by Mark Robert Anderson • 122

13. Chapter 10: Memory and Character Formation: The Rak in Hugh of Saint Victor

                                  by Hans Boersma • 139

14. Chapter 11: The Child in the Early Middle Ages by James M. Houston• 165

15. Chapter 12: "Let the Little Children Come to Me": Evangelicalism as a Young People's Movement

                                 by Bruce Hindmarsh • 177

16. Chapter 13: John Mac Murray's Vision of the Personal Based on Child Development

                                 by Marty Folsom • 186

17. Chapter 14: Child Resilience Despite Extreme Trauma/ Deprivation

                               by Robert and Suzanne Taylor • 204

18. Chapter 15: My Childhood Theology: For the God of My Life by Leighton Ford • 212

19. Chapter 16: And That is What We Are: Embracing the Child by Mike Mason • 220

20. Chapter 17: To be a Christian Was to be a Child to God: Kierkegaard's View
                              by Tetsuya Shimada • 230

21. Chapter 18: "A Childhood into Which We have to Grow": George MacDonald and Childlikeness 

                             by Sharon Jebb Smith and Kristin Jeffrey Johnson • 245

22. Chapter 19: To the Time Before Time Began: The Spiritual Vocation of Childhood

                             by Patrick Calvo • 264

23. Chapter 20: The Child in the Midst by Preston Manning • 279

Bibliography • 293


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