The Logic of the Spirit in Human Thought and Experience: Exploring the Vision of James E. Loder Jr

By Dana R. Wright and Keith J. White (editors)

Essays bringing together in fruitful dialogue the Child Theology Movement and the Spirit-centred theology of the American theologian James E. Loder.

ISBN: 9780718893781


The Child Theology Movement follows Jesus in putting the child and childlike humility at the heart of theological discussion and the life of the church. In an effort to advance Child Theology by engaging the deepest dimensions of practical theology, members of the movement have turned to the work of James E. Loder Jr, for forty years the Mary D. Synnott Professor of the Philosophy of Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, with whom they share a number of common concerns: human development (particularly children’s development), the church’s witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and discerning the work of Spiritus Creator in the postmodern world.

The Logic of the Spirit in Human Thought and Experience is a collection of papers that were presented at a meeting of members of the Child Theology Movement and Loder’s former students, compiled in this volume as a means of extending the conversation that took place inspired by Loder’s interdisciplinary practical theological science and his discernment of the “logic of the Spirit”. They are offered with confidence that the same Spirit continues to work in all persons who hope for the Spirit’s redemptive transformation of all creation, beginning with children.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 384
Illustrations b&w

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Dana R. Wright is presently the Director of Christian Formation and Discipleship at the First Presbyterian Church, Everett, Washington, and serves as an adjunct faculty member for Trinity Lutheran College in Everett and for the St Andrew Center in Coonoor, India, a division of the India Sunday School Union. He is the co-editor of Redemptive Transformation in Practical Theology (2004), a Festschrift in honor of James Loder.

Keith J. White lives at Mill Grove, a Christian household and residential community that cares for children and families in the East End of London, UK. He founded and chairs the Child Theology Movement. His books include A Place for Us (1976); In His Image (1988); The Art of Faith (1997); The Growth of Love (2008); Introducing Child Theology (2012); Entry Point (with Haddon Willmer) (2013). He is editor of The Bible Narrative and Illustrated (2006).


List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
Foreword by John S. McClure
Preface by Keith J. White

Introduction: Homo Testans: The Life, Work, and Witness of James E. Loder Jr
     Dana R. Wright

Part One: The Child Theology Movement and James E. Loder in Dialogue
1. Child Theology, Loder, and Holistic Child Development
     Keith J. White
2. Forgiving Constitutes the Person
     Haddon Willmer
3. James E. Loder and Paul in Conversation: Discourses of Development and Disruption
     Elizabeth Waldron Barnett

Part Two: James E. Loder and Christian Education Theory and Practice
4. The Transforming Moment and Godly Play
     Jerome W. Berryman
5. Baptizing John Dewey: James Loder’s Pedagogy of Presence Theory and Practice
     Thomas John Hastings
6. Pedagogical Implications of Loder’s Theory of Transformation
     Lauren Sempsrott Foster
7. Educational Ministry in the Logic of the Spirit: A Loder Legacy?
     Dana R. Wright

Part Three: James E. Loder’s Relevance to Psychology, Counseling, and Sociology
8. The Healing of Memory as a Pathway to Transformation: A Case Study Presenting
     James Loder’s Counsel
     Mark Koonz
9. Transformation of the Ego: A Study via Sudhir Kakar and James E. Loder
     Ajit A. Prasadam
10. Walking Alongside Children as They Form Compassion: Loder and Lerner in the Role
     of Relationships and Experience as Interactive Developmental Process
     Wendy Hinrichs Sanders

Part Four: James E. Loder and the Transformation of Christian Witness
11. A Tactical Child-Like Way of Being Human Together: Implications from
     James Loder’s Thought for Post-Colonial Christian Witness
     Dana R. Wright

Loder Bibliography


Endorsements and Reviews

Read this book because Jesus’s admonition that we all need to become like a child has been under-researched and James E. Loder Jr’s multi-disciplinary work on theology, science and spirit has been underutilised. This book remedies both while going beyond Loder’s developed thought in some critical aspects, asking questions that will send readers in new directions, not with a map but with a dare to chart new territory.
Eolene M. Boyd-Macmillan, Integrative Complexity, Scotland

James E. Loder Jr is one of the most creative theological minds of the last one hundred years. Unfortunately, because his genius was so deep, few have been willing to swim to the depth needed to engage his work. Dana R. Wright and his contributors have given us, in this book, a kind of vessel that promises exciting voyage into the deep waters of Loder’s thought. Every chapter is a treasure for pastors and practical theologians.
Andrew Root, Luther Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota