Imagination in the formation of Christian faith : with special reference to the child (7-11 year old)

Cho, Hye Jeong (2003-04)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2003

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study alms to investigate the function of imagination for faith formation of the child aged 7-11 years. Chapter one proposes the problems, proposition and significance of this dissertation, and sketches a brief overview of the further chapters. Chapter two provides a general understanding of the children, aged 7-11, in terms of their developmental stages and using a holistic approach. To encourage them to have faith, this chapter primarily investigates the character of faith in dimensions: the cognitive dimension (knowledge and mystery), the affective dimension (trust and community), and the behavioural dimension ( word and deed). In this holistic perspective, the imagination as the affective dimension, is placed in the centre through which the cognitive aspects and the behavioural aspects can be drawn together. Chapter three deals with the Bible as the source of Christian child education in which the Bible is defined as story and image. Through this new understanding of the Bible, the purpose of this chapter is to present the relevance of the Bible itself for the 7-11 year age- group children. The Bible as story has a plot structure that process from conflict to resolution, through which children can participate in the Bible with wonder and mystery. The Bible as image is an appropriate form to explain transcendent God to children who are living in perceived reality and can therefore engage with the Bible via feeling and seeing. Chapter four explores the significance and function of imagination by defining it as 'the anthropological point of contact for divine revelation.' From Green's definition, this chapter develops three functions of imagination for 7-11 year-old children. These are: holistic imaginationhelping towards the balanced faith development of children; incarnational imagination-incorporating God's revelation into the present situation of children; and alternative imagination-shaping the biblical word in the present world. Finally, chapter five investigates the most effective method of enabling the child to imagine God and His world described in the Bible. For the answer, this chapter suggests the storytelling method which evokes and appeals to the imagination of children. Thus, I strongly propose that the alternative way for the effective teaching of children teaching, which overcomes the shortcomings of the traditional cognitive teaching is imaginative- narrative or imaginative- storytelling education.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om ondersoek in te stel na die funksie van verbeelding in die geloofsvorming van die 7-11 jarige kind. In Hoofstuk 1 word die probleem, hipotese en belang van die proefskrif bespreek en 'n bree oorsig van die verdere hoofstukke geskets. Hoofstuk 2 bied 'n algemene verstaan van die 7-11 jarige kind, in terme van sy ontwikkelingsfases deur gebruik te maak van 'n holistiese benadering. Hierdie hoofstuk ondersoek primer die karakter van geloof in drie dimensies, naamlik die kognitiewe dimensie (kennis en misterie), affektiewe dimensie ( vertroue en gemeenskap) en die gedragsdimensie (woord en daad). Binne hierdie holistiese perspektief word verbeelding, as die affektiewe dimensie, III die sentrum geplaas waardeur die kognitiewe sowel as die gedragsaspekte mekaar kan ontmoet. Hoofstuk drie stel ondersoek in na die Bybel as 'n bron vir Christen kinders se opvoeding, waarin die Bybel gedefinieer word as verhaal en beeld. In terme van hierdie nuwe verstaan van die Bybel wil die hoofstuk die relevansie van die Bybel self vir die 7-11 jarige kind voorstel. Die Bybel as storie het 'n bepaalde struktuur om van konflik na resolusie te beweeg, waardeur kinders deel kan he in die Bybel, met wonder en misterie. Die Bybel as beeld is 'n geskikte vorm om 'n transendente God aan kinders te verduidelik wat in 'n waarneembare realiteit leef, deurdat kinders die Bybel kan betrek deur te sien en te voel. Hoofstuk vier ondersoek die belang en funksie van verbeelding deur dit te definieer as die "antropologiese kontakpunt vir goddelike openbaring." Na aanleiding van Green se definisie ontwikkel hierdie hoofstuk drie funksies van verbeelding vir die 7-11 jarige kind naamlik: holistiese verbeelding - wat bydra tot 'n gebalanseerde geloofsontwikkeling van kinders. inkarnerende verbeelding - wat God se openbaring inkorporeer binne die huidige situasie van kinders: en alternatiewe verbeelding - wat lei tot die skep van 'n bybelse wereld binne die teenwoordige wereld. Hoofstuk 5 ondersoek die mees effektiewe metode wat die kind in staat stel om God en Sy wereld, soos beskryf in die Bybel, voor te stel. In hierdie hoofstuk word 'n verhalende metode (die vertel van stories) wat die verbeelding van kinders aanspreek en appel daarop maak, voorgestel. Daar word geargumenteer dat die alternatiewe wyse vir die effektiewe onderrig van kinders, wat verskeie van die tekortkominge van tradisionele kognitiewe onderrig oorkom, verbeeldingryke en verbeeldingryke en verhalende onderrig is.

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