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Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian : Adult Development and Christian Faith Paperback – November 12, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; Revised edition (November 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078795134X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787951344
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Here we have Fowler's own and explicitly Christian word on the interface of faith development research and the particularity of Christian covenant/vocation. A gift to us and an invaluable resource." --Thomas H. Groome, professor of theology and religious education, Boston College

"No one, we believe, has provided more valuable scientific findings and theoretical formulations for those whose care for others is focused principally on the growth of the spirit, and of the person as a whole, than James. W. Fowler." --James J. Gill, editor-in-chief, Human Development

"Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian is an excellent resource for pastoral ministers and religious educators, offering practical insights based upon solid research." --Barbara J. Fleischer, director, Loyola Institute for Ministry, Loyola University

From the Publisher

A groundbreaking look at the development of faith that points the way to responsible, mature Christian selfhood. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By D. G Sinclair on June 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
According to M. Scott Peck's endorsement of Fowler's scholarly Stages of Faith, Fowler is the leader in faith develoment theory. In _Becoming Adult_, Fowler describes, in simpler, accessible language, the stages of faith and how they relate to emotional development. Fowler summarizes the work of Erik Erikson and two other prominent developmental theorists, and compares his stages to theirs. Fowler's summarization of these theorists' views is very helpful. Students of Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development will appreciate this book very much.

Despite the book's title and Fowler's Christian faith, the book is surprisingly non-Christian in orientation, and applies to faith development in general. Examples used in the book span many faith traditions. The chapters on vocation and divine calling are interesting, thought provoking, and insightful.

For the reader seeking for models of normal, healthy spiritual and emotional development, this easy to read (but not simplistic) book is an excellent seminal volume in the personal library
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Hunsucker, Christian Educator on February 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Fowler answers critics of his earlier writing, Stages of Faith, with a more inclusive view of what constitutes faith maturity. He acknowledges the more relational approach of women may be as valid to determine maturity as the predominately male model from his previous work. Research by feminist scholars, such as Carol Gilligan are inculded for a more comprehensive view of the markers indicating maturity. Fowler also offers greater recognition of the work of the Holy Spirit within each stage to encourage movement toward trainsitions needed for deeper maturity.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By April B. on May 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I believe that this work and his previous "Stages of Faith" constitute some of the most important and potentially culture changing works of our time. Some day these works by Fowler will be embraced by more of the church and will aid its effort to help people make progress along their own spiritual journeys.
As I read this book and reflected upon my own life, I sensed a deep resonance with most of the stages of faith that Fowler outlined. The truth of the book was confirmed in remembering my own development. Once this resonance occurs for someone, the greater value of the book will be in discovering what higher levels of faith may lay ahead. At this point the book can serve as an invaluable guide to spiritual growth.
I believe that the real answer to the world's most difficult conflicts is the growing interest in and effort to grow spiritually. When a person grows from egocentric, to ethnocentric, and then eventually to worldcentric awareness and beyond, rather than being a source of dissonance and human confrontation, they become a source of Unconditional Love and Harmony. Fowler's works aid those whose ego-shells have been cracked enough to let in a little light and will help them move toward a greater peace and harmony.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. L. Catron-ping on October 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a summary of Fowler's theory of the development of faith, and it reflects the clarity and completeness of an idea that has matured and been shaken down to the basics. Also,the discussion of vocation in the last chapters is inspirational and well articulated.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Alex Tang on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fowler's Faith Development Theory is commonly being used to describe Christian spiritual growth. Yet, when it was first formulated, Fowler described faith as `seeking meaning in our lives' and universal, thus not limited to Christianity. This theory, which arise out of Piaget's cognitive and Kohlberg's moral development theories are descriptive and did not take into consideration the supernatural/spiritual.

This book was Fowler's attempt to reconcile his development theory to the Christian theological concept of salvation and sanctification. His approach to integrate this is by the concept of vocation which `is the response a person makes with his or her total self to the address of God and to the calling to partnership'. He defined this partnership as synergy between the human potential and the work of the Spirit which he called `grace'. Fowler defined blockage to this synergy as sin and unblocking this synergy as salvation. The aim of this partnership is `in God's work in the world' which Fowler elaborated as partnership with God the Creator, with the governing action of God and in the liberative and redemptive action of God. However, what Fowler was describing are a series of behavioural pattern. Any description of spiritual growth must include a new creation, inner transformation and fruit of the Holy Spirit. One needs to differentiate between descriptors and contents.

Fowler then went on to describe vocation, relationship of vocation and Christian communities and the Christian story.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By a reader on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is definitely academic. Perhaps not as academic as Fowler's other books in that it seems ostensibly to be written for layperson, student or educator. However, (and I write this as an academic myself) Fowler seems unable to break free of the academic genre. The book reads like fellow academics were the audience in mind. The standard dance of academic writing is engaged in, everything meticulously argued out using the language of the discipline. All fine and good, but it might tend to lose the layperson. It certainly lost me. Fowler eventually gets to the point, that the key to finding our vocation lies not within us, in our own hopes, desires and needs, but in the faith (and wider) community to which we belong. We need to be outward looking rather than inward looking to find our true vocation. What I said in the last sentence takes Fowler a whole chapter to say. At times I thought he was spinning it out to knock a book out of it, but I genuinely think he can't break out of the mould of the academic writing genre. Nonetheless, I'm glad I read this book, as despite its form, its content is a message worth hearing.
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