1st Edition

Issues in Spiritual Formation in Early Lifespan Contexts

Edited By Martin Ubani, Sari Murtonen Copyright 2024

    This book focuses on the question of how different contexts are relevant in the shaping and expression of individual spirituality spanning from early childhood to young adulthood.
    Past decades have witnessed a strong expansion of research on spirituality and spiritual education. This expansion has proved to have many advantages in understanding the experiences, values, identities and behaviours of individuals and communities. Such research has benefitted from different research disciplines and methods, from its openness toward different faith traditions and non-religious belief systems, and from the agility in adapting to diverse and evolving contexts. These aspects are essential in producing robust and timely international knowledge on children’s spirituality and their education. This volume is one such ambitious endeavour. The chapters describe issues related to religious and spiritual development in different contexts of growth, such as school and church, and spanning from early childhood to young adulthood in Finland, UK, Turkey and Malta. In addition, the authors utilise diverse methods in their studies. Furthermore, the studies are based on conceptions of spirituality ranging from holistic spirituality and religiosity to world view based definitions. Finally, the chapters represent foundational research on spirituality, applied research on spirituality and contextualised research on spirituality – a typology suitable for assessing future studies on spirituality.
    Issues in Spiritual Formation in Early Lifespan Contexts will be a key resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Religion, Religious Education, Education, Educational Research, Developmental Psychology, Research Methods, and Sociology. The chapters included in this book were originally published as a special issue of International Journal of Children's Spirituality.

    1. Issues in spiritual formation in early lifespan contexts
     Martin Ubani and Sari Murtonen
    2. Towards a symbol literacy approach in the education of children
     Adrian-Mario Gellel
    3. (Spi)ritual interaction in musical activity for infants in the church space – a qualitative analysis
     Aino-Elina Kilpeläinen and Inkeri Ruokonen
    4. The holistic and spiritual relevance of Bible stories among Finnish 10-year-old pupils: a classroom case study
     Raili Keränen-Pantsu and Martin Ubani
    5. Do students feel authentic in integrated RE? A quantitative analysis
     Martin Ubani
    6. The attitudes of British Buddhist teens towards school and Religious Education
     Phra Nicholas Thanissaro
    7. Teaching worldviews through creative drama for religious education in Turkey
     Aybiçe Tosun
    8. The role of music in young adults’ spiritual development
     Sari Murtonen


    Martin Ubani is Professor of Religious Education at the University of Eastern Finland. His research concerns religious and spiritual education in education, and teacher education. Ubani has been a Visiting Researcher at the Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem, Israel since 2016.

    Sari Murtonen is PhD student at the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland. Her main subject is Religious Education. Her research concerns young adults, spirituality, and spiritual development.