Theology of childhood: An essential element of Christian anthropology

Journal article

McEvoy, James Gerard. (2019) Theology of childhood: An essential element of Christian anthropology. Irish Theological Quarterly. 84(2), pp. 117 - 136.
AuthorsMcEvoy, James Gerard

This article argues that a consideration of children and childhood should be an essential element of theological anthropology. The argument is situated against the background of recent sociology of childhood, which emphasizes children’s agency; the author offers an interpretative view of this agency. In that context, Rahner’s approach to childhood in the prescient article ‘Ideas for a Theology of Childhood’ is examined. Finally, the author proposes a modest development of Rahner’s approach by focusing on two fundamental themes of theological anthropology: children as created, and their lives as graced. A more explicit theology of childhood is indispensable for contemporary church life, especially in light of both the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and the Catholic Church’s strong commitment to Catholic schooling.

KeywordsCharles Taylor; childhood studies; Karl Rahner; sociology of childhood; theology of childhood
JournalIrish Theological Quarterly
Journal citation84 (2), pp. 117 - 136
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85061698691
Page range117 - 136
Research GroupSchool of Theology
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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