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Children in the Natural World: A Theological Reflection upon Encouncter and Wonder

Mallaby, Richard J. (2012) Children in the Natural World: A Theological Reflection upon Encouncter and Wonder. Doctor of Ministry Studies thesis, UNSPECIFIED.


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Many children in urban environments spend considerable time indoors raising concern about physical and spiritual wellbeing. However, children engaged in gardening and play in nature, often experience wonder in response to beauty and encountering the Spirit of God in the other. Many find a sense of place and belonging, recognise natural rhythms, discover the origin of food and the diverse interconnections and interdependence within the web of life. This experience has parallels with Job’s encounter of the wild, chaotic beauty of the natural world when YHWH speaks from the whirlwind.
Drawing on the experience of ten community groups, this project explores theological themes that might enrich the church’s ministry with children. Pivoting around the theme of wonder, contemporary Incarnational and Trinitarian process theology is used to discuss Participation in God and panentheism as relevant working models of God. Other themes include broken relationship with the Earth, place in the land, Sabbath, hospitality and hope.

Item Type: Theses (Doctor of Ministry Studies)
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Children, Natural World, Wonder, Ecotheology, Participation in God, Panentheism, Job, Place, Sabbath, Hospitality, Hope
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: Ministry Studies
College/Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
Depositing User: Users 2 not found.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2012 00:42
Last Modified: 18 May 2012 00:42
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1085

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