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The Spirit of the Child: Revised Edition [Paperback]

David Hay
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

19 Jan 2006 1843103710 978-1843103714 Revised edition
Spirituality is increasingly acknowledged to be an essential part of child development. David Hay argues for the inclusion of spiritual awareness as a cross-curricular element in the school syllabus to promote the development of morality and social cohesion. While culturally constructed pressures and the decline in institutional religion have led to the suppression of spiritual expression, children are, the author maintains, capable of profound and meaningful beliefs from an early age. A three-year research study into young children's spirituality and its survival value informs Hay's view that spirituality in education needs to overcome traditional approaches and should adopt a theory of spirituality that includes religion but is not confined to it. This stimulating book will encourage educators, parents and others involved in teaching children to consider new approaches to foster children's natural spiritual development.

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The Spirit of the Child: Revised Edition + Children's Spirituality (Sure Foundations) + Mission-shaped Children: Moving Towards a Child-centered Church
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; Revised edition edition (19 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843103710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843103714
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 16.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author




Dr David Hay is a former Director of the Religious Experience Research Unit (RERU) in Oxford (now based in the University of Wales). Like Sir Alister Hardy FRS, who founded the RERU in 1969, he is a zoologist, studying as an undergraduate in Aberdeen University. Hardy had been Professor of Zoology and Head of Department in Oxford University. He was convinced that spiritual awareness has evolved through the process of Natural Selection, underlies all genuine religion, and is necessary for the wellbeing of the human community. Much of Hay's academic career has been spent exploring the plausibility of Hardy's conjecture and this has led him to publish numerous scientific articles and seven books on the subject The latter include Exploring Inner Space: Scientists and Religious Experience (1987); Religious Experience Today: Studying the Facts (1990); The Spirit of the Child (with Rebecca Nye) (2006), and Something There: the Biology of the Human Spirit (2006, 2007). His latest book is a biography entitled God's Biologist: a Life of Alister Hardy (2011). Towards the latter part of his formal career, David was appointed Reader in Spiritual Education in Nottingham University and Visiting Professor in the Institute for the Study of Religion at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Currently he holds an Honorary Senior Research Fellowship in Aberdeen University, and also an Honorary Research Fellowship in the University of Wales at Lampeter


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Review

Reviews of the first edition 'This book has rapidly become a classic of children's spirituality. It provides an empirical and a conceptual basis for the idea of relational spirituality, an understanding that is not only of great practical interest to teachers, clergy and parents, but creates the groundwork for a prophetic protest against forces in the modern world that would undermine the natural spirituality of human beings. It is not only refreshingly clear in an area often somewhat confused, but offers original insights into the lives and attitudes of young children.' - John M Hull is Professor of Practical Theology in the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham and Emeritus Professor of Religious Education at the University of Birmingham, England. 'Today I find references to The Spirit of the Child in many different fields, including education theory, human development, psychology and sociology. It is the classic text for exploring spirituality in children, and an enduring resource for present need and future research.' - Professor David Tacey, La Trobe University, Australia; author of The Spirituality Revolution 'The Spirit of the Child...is currently the seminal book on children's spirituality on the international scene.' - Christian Education Journal 'Very, very impressive.' - Professor Andrew Greeley, University of Chicago [One of best known sociologists of religion in the world, with a US nationally syndicated newspaper column on religion.] 'For many people, this was a ground-breaking research study...many, perhaps most, subsequent research studies made use of their definitions of spirituality and the broad perspective of spirituality that encompasses all children everywhere.' - Professor Don Ratcliff, Toccoa Falls College 'David Hay and Rebecca Nye have done outstanding research in this difficult, yet most important area. Almost all children are born with a spiritual potential, but how are we to recognize its specificity in a given case and how to foster its development - rather than to let it wither away or even corrupt it unwittingly? Reading this volume will help all involved to understand these issues more deeply, and to contribute more to the blossoming of a child's spirituality.' - Professor K. Helmut Reich, School of Consciousness Studies and Sacred Values, Rutherford University 'It is difficult not to be beguiled by Hay's analysis. What might be called its seamless holisticity, its concern to wed the spiritual to practical and altruistic purpose, and its lack of religious dogmatism (despite Hay's professed Roman Catholic affiliation) provide a sophisticated argument for educational and social purposiveness.' - Clive Erricker, Editor, International Journal of Children's Spirituality 'I have just re-read The Spirit of the Child after seven years. It was recently used in a course I taught at General Theological Seminary in New York City. The book is still as fresh and exciting today as it was seven years ago. You cannot ask for a better team of writers to produce such a volume. I have admired David Hay's work since his days at the Alister Hardy Research Centre at Manchester College, Oxford and his wonderful book, Exploring Inner Space. Dr. Hay is a biologist and experienced researcher in this field as well as an insightful commentator who sets the stage for the research described in The Spirit of the Child. He also contributes to the research, and then follows up with some practices that might be used to help children develop spiritually. Dr. Nye, a child psychologist attached to The Divinity School at Cambridge University, is a gifted and insightful researcher with an informed ability and deep intuition for knowing and being with children. As with Piaget, Winnicott and a handful of others the children knew they could talk to Dr. Nye and that they would be understood and safe. It is no wonder that this team has produced such a valuable resource about children's spirituality! I recommend this volume without reservation for reading and re-reading.' - The Reverend Dr. Jerome W. Berryman, author of Godly Play, Executive Director, Center for the Theology of Childhood, Houston

About the Author

David Hay is a zoologist and Honorary Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. For the past 11 years he has also been a visiting professor at the Institute for the Study of Religion at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. David was formerly Reader in Spiritual Education at the University of Nottingham, where he directed the Children's Spirituality Project. He is also a former director of the Alister Hardy Research Centre in Oxford. Rebecca Nye is a child psychologist and a member of staff in the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
*The Spirit of the Child* introduces the topic of children's spirituality, making use of David Hay and Rebecca Nye's valuable research of children in England. Spirituality is marked by unusually intense experiences of many possible varieties, and is an inborn aspect of human nature, the result they believe of evolutionary development. Yet Western culture has suppressed this aspect of children to the point that they are often embarrased and self-conscious about the topic. The authors describe their own research with children, including the identifying terms that children use to describe spiritual experiences. They also describe previous research that relates to spirituality of youngsters. Children's spirituality is an important, emerging area of child development that needs to be considered in greater detail by researchers and theorists, as children's spirituality is an almost completely overlooked area of children's development, yet it deserves careful consideration by educators, parents, and others interested in children.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spirit of the Child by David Hay with Rebecca Nye 17 Aug 2001
By "gaphaus" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The authors report and reflect on the results of their research on children's perceptions of spiritual experience. Based on interviews with children, the authors come to describe the spirituality of children as "relational consciousness" -- the child's innate sense of relationship with others, creation, one's self, and God.
This significant research supports the work of Sofia Cavalletti, Jerome Berryman and others in providing children with access to a language that is worthy of the experience children already have of "God's presence" in their lives. It also supports the work of Vivian Gussin Paley, in which she engages children as young as 2 years old, in telling and acting out their stories -- tapping into the child's innate capacity to find and to give order and meaning to an otherwise ambiguous world through play and fantasy. Moreover, the research provides a basis for creating curricula designs that integrate rather than fragment the child's studies in various disciplines.
The research invites religious educators to look again at their approach to religious education. Ultimately, a primary objective in religious education, as in all of education, is not to indoctrinate but to engage the children in the use of skills that enable them to reflect on the meaning of their unfolding experience and to share that with others. This book is valuable not only to religious educators but to anyone responsible for providing childcare.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ground-Breaking Book on Children's Spirituality 30 July 2000
By Dr. Donald E. Ratcliff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
*The Spirit of the Child* introduces the topic of children's spirituality, making use of David Hay and Rebecca Nye's valuable research of children in England. David Hay, formerly the director of the Alister Hardy Research Centre at Oxford University, and Rebecca Nye, at the University of Cambridge, offer a theory of spirituality that includes religion but is not limited to this area. Spirituality is marked by unusually intense experiences of many possible varieties, and is an inborn aspect of human nature, the result they believe of evolutionary development. Yet Western culture has suppressed this aspect of children to the point that they are often embarrased and self-conscious about the topic. The authors describe their own research with children, including the identifying terms that children use to describe spiritual experiences. They also describe previous research that relates to spirituality of youngsters. Children's spirituality is an important, emerging area of child development that needs to be considered in greater detail by researchers and theorists, as children's spirituality is an almost completely overlooked area of children's development, yet it deserves careful consideration by educators, parents, and others interested in children.
Also see... for details related to a recent international conference on children's spirituality, at which David Hay was a keynote speaker.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far More than Spirit and Children 8 Feb 2008
By David Duncan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This carefully researched book about the spiritual lives of children, independent of their religious beliefs, is refreshing and heartening. The authors conclude that children naturally bond to clouds, to trees, to animals, to other people, to almost anything and everything, visible and invisible, but that modern culture, especially schools, deaden this relational life by isolating children - teaching them to be alienated individuals half-alive in worlds of facts. It reminds me of the works of Kent Nerburn, that describe Native Americans living in worlds of relation rather than modern bubbles.
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