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Faith development theory: a case for paradigm change

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Despite its influence, James Fowler's theory of faith development is in need of fundamental reappraisal. Doubts over Fowler's use of a structural model of human development and the adequacy of his research techniques have been added to in recent years by his inadequate response to the challenge of post-modern thought. It is suggested that, despite Fowler's position, key elements of the theory are very much in tune with post-modern thought and if the abandonment of the theory's underlying structuralism were to be allowed, these might be taken to point a constructive way forward.
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Keywords: Christian education; faith development; paradigm change; pastoral theology; post-modernity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Oxford, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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