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.
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
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
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
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