Evaluate Two or More Faith Development Theories and Comment Critically on How Convincing They Are as an Account of How Children Develop Spiritually?

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In this essay, the exploration of faith development theories will be critically evaluated to determine the influence the theories have on children developing spiritually. Fowler’s stages of faith will be evaluated to acknowledge the contribution the theory has towards children developing spiritually. The views of Piaget and Kohlberg will be mentioned in reference to Fowler’s faith development theory. Moreover, James Westerhoff theory on faith will be evaluated to determine the impact it has on children developing spiritually. I will also make reference to how a child perceives God to be and whether the concept of spirituality changes, develops and if they can be supported by educational practices. The theories will be critiqued to determine its contribution and limitations and whether they can help a child in developing their acknowledgment of God and spirituality. Faith is a controversial phrase which some may suggest is difficult to define Astley (2000). It is stated by fowler, a faith developmental theologian that faith is ‘a persons or group’s way of moving into the force field of life’ and ‘against a background of shared meaning and purposes’ Fowler (1981, p.4). This implies that faith plays an important role in how one sees and perceives the world to be. Through exploration of the world that we live in, purpose can be found through life and individuals may interpret it so they can find significance from it. Fowler, a faith development theologian supports the notion that faith is not a set of values and beliefs but, as a ‘human universal’ activity of ‘meaning making’ (Fowler, 1981, p.4) where people use their experiences of the world to develop their faith. Consequently, Fowler believes that faith is applicable to all individuals (Jardine and Viljoen, 1992, p.75) as aspects of faith change over a period of time. Fowler integrates his meaning making
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