Fowler, Sweeney, and Kohlberg are three examples of faith movements. These movements describe the steps of development in our faith and moral code. When Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is within you” he was making us aware of the relationship we have with God, ourselves, and other.
Fowler broke down the development of faith into six stages. Stage one is intuitive-projective faith. This stage is for pre-school children where their basic feelings about God, Jesus, and the Church are learned from their family. Stage two is mythic-literal faith. This stage is for children from ages six to twelve. Their beliefs becoming influenced from a wider circle of people such as teachers, friends, and clergy. Children start to become aware that there are different ways of understanding faith. Stage three is synthetic-conventional faith. This stage is from age twelve, sometimes through adulthood. This stage in concerned with the interpersonal need for approval by their peers. The person uses the views of significant others in developing their own views. Stage four is individual-projective faith. This stage may begin in late teenage years or early adulthood. The person focuses on taking responsibility as an adult for one’s own commitments and belief systems. Doubt, questioning, struggling with new concepts, and rejection of traditional assumptions are very typical. Stage five is conjunctive faith. This is a mature faith which many people never really reach. Commitment to political and moral values deepens in this stage. Stage six is universalizing faith. This stage is most rarely reached. The person goes beyond beliefs or a way of living to total, unswerving commitment to the will of God. Examples include St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa.
Sweeney broke down the development of faith into six stages as well. Stage one is imaginative faith. Children until age seven are in this stage. Images of God cause fear, guilt, and worry to the children are the real dangers to faith...
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