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Will There Be Faith?: A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples Paperback – August 23, 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An amazing tour de force covering the terrain of Christian doctrine and practice....This book is a valuable resource for reviving and refreshing the faith of Christians of all ages.” (U.S. Catholic)

About the Author

Thomas H. Groome is chair of the Department of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and professor of theology and religious education at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry and author of What Makes Us Catholic?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Original edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062037285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062037282
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Whenever I engage in conversation with my catechetical colleagues, certain questions and themes arise again and again:

- What would catechesis look like if it followed the pedagogical model used by Jesus?
- What if we sought to not just teach about the faith, but help the faithful (both young and old) learn from and be transformed by our rich Catholic tradition?
- How can parents be more intentional about passing on the faith?

Thomas Groome's new book, Will There Be Faith? A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples, seeks to answer these questions by proposing a life to Faith to life model for catechesis and Christian religious education.

By life to Faith to life Groome means a methodology that begins with the life experience of the faithful, invites them to consider that experience in light of the wisdom and practices of the Church, and then to bring those new insights back to their lived experience. This intuitive, praxis-based approach builds off of Groome's earlier body of work in the field of Christian religious education.

Groome's aim is to take catechesis away from the strict classroom-based model that has became prevalent in many places in the Church. This model, although popular, has led to the compartmentalization of catechesis. As Groome writes:

"The emergence of denominational schools, Sunday schools,' and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) all greatly enhanced the effectiveness of religious education. The disadvantage, however, was that they removed the family from its central position as educator in faith and gave the impression that the school -- of whatever kind -- could educate better than and instead of parents. Even the Church helped to convince parents of this schooling paradigm.
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Of all of Groome's writings, I find this one to be the most difficult and least engaging. (Consider that statement in light that Groome's writing were part of my dissertation, where I treat him as an educational philosopher.) It appears he is attempting to re-establish himself as a preeminent voice in revising Roman Catholic catechism(s), so this the focus feels more forced: rather than a reflection on the future of Christian Religious Education, it comes across as presumptive authority defending normative standards. Worthwhile for someone trying to map the span of Groome's thinking, but not an extension of previous theory & praxis.
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I read Groome's Christian Religious Education while in seminary (the only text written by a Catholic included in my reading list for my basic course in religious education), and was intrigued to see how his perspective changed over the last thirty years. Both volumes provide theologically and pedagogically sound understandings of the enterprise known as religious education. Additionally, both offer import contributions to the conversation, especially with regard to the "how" one engages in the shared praxis. Note how the "how to" component shifts (and remains the same) between 1980 and 2011:

THEN
First Movement: Naming Present Action
Second Movement: The Participants' Stories and Visions
Third Movement: The Christian Story and Vision
Fourth Movement: Dialectal Hermeneutic Between the Story and Participants' Stories
Fifth Movement: Dialectal Hermeneutic Between the Vision and Participants' Visions

NOW
Focusing Act (FA): Engage people with a real life or faith theme.
Life
M1 (Movement 1): Have people respond to the theme as it pertains to their lives.
M2: Encourage them to reflect critically on the theme in conversation together
Faith
M3: Share the Story and Vision of Christian faith in ways pertinent to the theme and meaningful for this group, context and occasion.
Life
M4: Encourage participants to appropriate and integrate Christian faith with life.
M5: Invite people to make a decision - cognitive, affective, or behavioral in response to the whole process (p.299-300).

Will There Be Faith? is an important contribution to the current discussion.
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Groome makes a great argument for faith formation, but takes a long time to make it. His approach is simple yet life changing.
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Format: Paperback
Perhaps no one in the post-conciliar era in the US is more responsible for the complete breakdown in catechesis than Thomas Groome of the New Catechetics movement. In his most recent book, he doubles-down on failure, providing yet another "new vision" based on the same cognition-eschewing "praxis-based" learning method that has done so much damage over the past forty years. (Thank goodness we don't try to learn other subjects this way, as a content-free "lived experience.") Read this book to learn what not to do.
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