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Research into children's perception of prayer- the meaning and function of prayer for children.

Mountain, Vivienne (2008) Research into children's perception of prayer- the meaning and function of prayer for children. VDM, Saarsbruken. 208pp. ISBN 978-3-639-05656-3

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Abstract

Prayer is a central element of all religions. Alongside the sense of the theological importance of prayer there has been increasing recognition of the psychological function and personal benefits of prayer for adults. this thesis reports on the theological and psychological perceptions of prayer held by children., shown through their understanding of the meaning and function of prayer.
this thesis contributes to the field of children's spirituality. As there is little existing research literature on children and prayer, the finding of this study provide valuable new understanding and propose new aspects of theory with implications for professionals involved in the education and the welfare of children. the research reported in this thesis represent the first Australian research on children's perception of the meaning and function of prayer.
The choice of participants reflect the diverse philosophical and religious traditions found in the Australian, multi faith society.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 60 participants from Primary School Year Five, selected from six different schools in the Melbourne metropolitan area. Theres were: the Catholic, Independent (Christian), Christian (Parent- Controlled of Community School), Jewish, Islamic and government schools.
Considerable agreement has been observed through the data, between children educated in a variety of school systems. the personal experiences of prayer for many were seen associated with the community of faith to which the participant belonged, and for others, prayer was learnt eclectically and practiced in a private individualistic manner. All participants indicated that they had prayed and all contributed ideas about prayer through the interviews. All participants perceived prayer to function as an aid in life. Prayer was used by participants at significant moments in life and the words and thoughts helped to clarify and articulate deep feelings. Eight elements of theory have been generated through this research which are presented as recommendations for professionals engaged in religious education and student welfare.

Item Type: Books / Monographs
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: children, prayer, spirituality, Christian, Jewish, Muslim
Fields of Research: 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170111 Psychology of Religion
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220402 Comparative Religious Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950405 Religious Structures and Ritual
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: Ministry Studies
D - Pastoral Studies
A - Philosophy
D - Religious Education
D - Spirituality and Spiritual Direction
A - World Religions
College/Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Vivienne Mountain
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2014 04:36
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2014 01:17
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1600

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