Friday, December 05, 2008

Faith Development c/o Alan Jamieson... [1]

I first read A Churchless Faith about four years ago and found it immensely helpful for myself to understand faith more as a verb than a static noun. I'm evermore convinced of it's importance in Spiritual Formation and Jamieson's summary of Fowler's work on FD is helpful. I want to periodically highlight some of Fowler's stages of faith thanks to Jamieson's summary.

He uses some of Fowler's qualifying statements to set the scene.
  • Fowler's work on development of faith is like a map that describes the terrain and shows key landmarks; but it is like a map at the back of a tourist map - helpful but not detailed or authoritative.
  • Faith is a dynamic, changing and evolving process. Rather than merely something you have or do not have or just an acceptance of certain statements of belief, Fowler suggests that faith is a dynamic process a way of living.
  • Faith development is more about how we believe (operation of faith) rather than what we believe (contents of faith). What changes is understanding, experience and out workings of particular beliefs.
  • No stage is better than another but each stage offers a deeper and broader understanding and experience of faith than the preceding stage.
  • Transitional changes can be very painful and difficult feeling almost like a shipwreck (Parks, S. (1999). The Critical Years. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.). These faith transitions can be so painful that it is easier to remain rooted in a previous stage than face the uncertainty, ambiguity, and self alienation which can feel unbearable.
I'm looking forward to exploring these stages that seem more invoved than Von Hügel that I have looked at before here. They include:
  • Intuitive-Projective (The Innocent)
  • Mythical-Literal (The Literalist)
  • Synthetic-Conventional (The Loyalist)
  • Individuative-Reflective (The Critic)
  • Conjunctive (The Seer)
  • Universalizing (The Saint)

1 comment:

Chris Heward said...
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