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Parents, teachers and priests concerned with giving religious instruction to children so that they will learn to know this, love and serve God according to their capacity at a particular age should find this a book for careful reading and reflection. The author, a professional psychotherapist at a Child Guidance Clinic in England, brings wide knowledge and sympathetic understanding to this detailed study of a child's psychological ability to grasp religious teaching as he passes through infancy, middle childhood, and adolescence. Mrs. Lewis maintains that a child's hope of gaining a steadfast religion depends primarily on the attitute of his parents to God, and on the example and teaching they give him. It is inevitable that a very young child forms images of God and Our Lady from what he knows of his own parents. If these infantile images have been based upon an experience of parents who are strong, loving, just, merciful and spiritually mature, everything that comes later in his religious life will be an enrichment and confirmation of his faith. Consequently, she urges parents to consider their own personal attitute to God carefully, so that their children can come to know a loving God from the very beginning. Mrs. Lewis describes various ways parents can foster religious training in the home through reading, art, dramatics, feast-day observances during childhood. During adolescence, she warns, the emotional problems of teen agers must be taken into account of the best formal religious teaching will be of no avail. Since Children and Their Religion forces adults to take a penetrating look at their own spiritual development, it may benefit them as much as the children they purport to help.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1962
Publisher: Sheed & Ward