The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood

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Anna Strhan, Stephen G. Parker, Susan Ridgely
  • New York, NY: 
    Bloomsbury Academic
    , January
     408 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Rohan Gideon forthcoming.


From recent sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, to arguments about faith schools and religious indoctrination, this volume considers the interconnection between the actual lives of children and the position of children as placeholders for the future. Childhood has often been a particular site of struggle for negotiating the location of religion in public and everyday social life, and children's involvement and non-involvement in religion raises strong feelings because they represent the future of religious and secular communities, even of society itself. The Bloomsbury Reader in Religion and Childhood provides a rich resource for students and scholars of this interdisciplinary field, and addresses wider questions about the distinctiveness of childhood and its religious dimensions in historical and contemporary perspective. 

Divided into five thematic parts, the volume provides classic, contemporary, and specially commissioned readings from a range of perspectives, including the sociological, anthropological, historical, and theological. Case studies range from Augustine's description of childhood in Confessions, the psychology of religion and childhood, to religion in children's literature, religious education, and Qur'anic schools. 

- Religious traditions covered include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, in the UK and Europe, USA, Latin America and Africa
- An introduction situates each thematic part, and each reading is contextualised by the editors
- Guidance on further reading and study questions are provided on the book's webpage

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Anna Strhan is lecturer in religious studies at the University of Kent, UK. Her research explores the interrelations between space, religion, ethics, and values. She is the author of Aliens and Strangers? The Struggle for Coherence in the Everyday Lives of Evangelicals (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Stephen Parker is professor of the history of religion and education at the University of Worcester, UK.

Susan Ridgely is associate professor of religious studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison.


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