Children’s spirituality: spiritual voice(s) on journeys to finding meaning and purpose

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    The spiritual dimension of childhood is one of the least understood and hence most overlooked aspects of young people’s lives, especially in many Euro-Western cultures. From an early age, children pose searching questions about the deeper issues around life and death, as they seek connections and find their place in the world. This chapter presents a critical overview of the field of children’s spirituality and its development. It argues that the spiritual (whether linked to religion or not) is an important part of conceptualising childhood more broadly. At the same time, it is acknowledged that not all young people deem spirituality and/or religion as personally relevant, instead finding meaning and purpose in other ways. The chapter draws on studies which have captured young people’s spiritual voice(s), which illuminate the depth of their reflections and experiences which often go unheard. Frequently misunderstood or dismissed as imagination, their spiritual voices can be silenced by louder discourses which value the material over the intangible, yet play a vital role in challenging accepted narratives about childhood.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of children and youth studies
    EditorsJ Wyn, H Cahill, H Cuervo
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    PublisherSpringer Nature
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9789814451963
    Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2023


    • Children's spirituality
    • meaning and purpose in life
    • Spiritual voices
    • Connectedness
    • Childhood Studies


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