“For much too long, Christian theology has had a blind spot in relation to the experience of children. Child Theology challenges us to consider what children can teach us about God, Jesus Christ, creation, being human, sin, and salvation. It offers reflection on the traditional foci of Christian theology from a child-attentive lens and in conversation with a variety of disciplinary discussions.” —Aristotle Papanikolaou, Professor of Theology, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture, Fordham University
“Marcia Bunge has done it again! She has placed the child in the midst of a worldwide theological conversation. I listened with gratitude to the lively and diverse voices gathered here. The child in the church? God plays through the tears to allay our fears about becoming like a child to be mature.” —The Rev’d Dr. Jerome W. Berryman, author, Children and the Theologians and Becoming like a Child
“An amazing array of scholars address the question: What would our churches and theology look like if we acknowledged children’s full humanity and placed ‘the child’ at the center of our theological reflection? The result is a penetrating, liberationist ‘child theology’ that alerts us to this most vulnerable population and our obligations to them—undertakings that remind us of the creativity, worth, and potential of all human beings, regardless of age. I highly recommend this reframing of theology and ecclesial practice that provides important lessons not only for our churches, but for the world.” --Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM, PhD, Boston College Past-President of the Catholic Theological Society of America
Twelve highly respected Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox theologians from six continents aim to strengthen Christian theology and the church’s commitment to children by rethinking central doctrines and practices with attention to the strengths, vulnerabilities, and full humanity of children.
Like feminist, black, and other liberating forms of theology, child theologies re-evaluate and reinterpret current understandings of Christian faith and life in the light of those who are often voiceless, exploited, or marginalized—in this case children.
Taking diverse approaches and building on a range of sources, including Scripture, tradition, the social sciences, literature, and the experiences of individuals and communities, contributors offer new insights into key theological topics, such as God, creation, theological anthropology, Christology, sin, salvation, the church, mission, and hope.
Introduction by Marcia J. Bunge and Megan Eide. Contributors include Wanda Deifelt (Brazil/USA); Ivone Gebara (Brazil); Rohan P. Gideon (India); Perry T. Hamalis (USA); D. J. Konz (Australia); Valerie Michaelson (Canada); Kenneth Mtata (Zimbabwe); Craig L. Nessan (USA); Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator (Kenya/Nigeria); Dirk J. Smit (South Africa); Michael Welker (Germany); Amos Yong (Malaysia/USA).
Marcia J. Bunge, PhD., is Professor of Religion and the Drell and Adeline Bernhardson Distinguished Chair of Lutheran Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, and an extraordinary research professor at North-West University, South Africa. She has published numerous articles and five books on conceptions of childhood in world religions, including The Child in Christian Thought, The Child in the Bible (both William B. Eerdmans), and Children, Adults, and Shared Responsibilities: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives (Cambridge University Press).