Review Part III FAITH & Fowler 7. Fowler’s Stages of Faith Development James Fowler • Famous for creating a theory of Faith Development. Stage One: Intuitive/Projective Faith ages 2 – 7 Trust placed in what a child sees and hears from parents or guardians. A child absorbs all the taboos and beliefs from the family around them mirrors them back. . Stage Two: Mythic/Literal Faith or the Literalist Ages 8 – Adolescence , but could last a lifetime NARRATIVE STAGE – Stories with great meaning. But all taken LITERALLY See Adam and Eve as an historical story. Simple explanations give comfort! Stage Three: Synthetic/Conventional Faith Adolescence Most people never get beyond this stage! Trust is shifted from stories to being part of a group Approval is important. Start to see contradictions but questions are silenced and conformity wins. God is seen as an extension of interpersonal relationships.. Parent, friend, girlfriend/boyfriend. Stage Four: Individuative/Reflective Faiththe Searcher • Early as age 17, but usually 30s or 40s • Begin to develop own spiritual beliefs (no longer rely on others) • Authority shifts from an external source to authority within oneself. • Working out one’s own path. • Nothing is certain but my own existence. – One can become disillusioned. (not a comfortable place to be) Nihilism • An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence. • A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. Stage Five: Conjunctive Faiththe Seer People usually enter Stage Five around age 35 or 40 (but could happen earlier, later, or NEVER) We realize absolute answers cannot be found and starts to trust “the mystery.” Accept new views – have higher level of relationships. Begins the total surrender to the Divine Stage Six: Universalizing Faith Enlightenment • Few people reach! • Called Universalizing faith because one becomes an activist for the universe. • Person begins to live in the “Kingdom of God” • We are no longer the center of the universe • Have radical commitment to social justice Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, & Mother Theresa Characteristics of Stage 6 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Deny self for total unity with God No longer concerned about the normal ego needs of survival and security, often involves nonviolent suffering Everything matters, yet without attachment. Life is both loved fully and held loosely.