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