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Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian: Adult Development and Christian Faith

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In this updated reissue of his 1984 classic, James Fowler applies his groundbreaking research on the development of faith to Christianity. In his revised first chapter Fowler locates his approach to the study of human and faith development in relation to the contemporary conversation about identity and selfhood in postmodernity. Fowler invites readers to explore what it me In this updated reissue of his 1984 classic, James Fowler applies his groundbreaking research on the development of faith to Christianity. In his revised first chapter Fowler locates his approach to the study of human and faith development in relation to the contemporary conversation about identity and selfhood in postmodernity. Fowler invites readers to explore what it means to find and claim vocation: a purpose for one's life that is part of the purposes of God. Reclaiming covenant and vocation as ideals for responsible, mature, Christian selfhood, Fowler shows how a dynamic understanding of what vocation involves can both inform and transform lives.


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In this updated reissue of his 1984 classic, James Fowler applies his groundbreaking research on the development of faith to Christianity. In his revised first chapter Fowler locates his approach to the study of human and faith development in relation to the contemporary conversation about identity and selfhood in postmodernity. Fowler invites readers to explore what it me In this updated reissue of his 1984 classic, James Fowler applies his groundbreaking research on the development of faith to Christianity. In his revised first chapter Fowler locates his approach to the study of human and faith development in relation to the contemporary conversation about identity and selfhood in postmodernity. Fowler invites readers to explore what it means to find and claim vocation: a purpose for one's life that is part of the purposes of God. Reclaiming covenant and vocation as ideals for responsible, mature, Christian selfhood, Fowler shows how a dynamic understanding of what vocation involves can both inform and transform lives.

30 review for Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian: Adult Development and Christian Faith

  1. 5 out of 5

    AJ Nolan

    This book is excellent. Even though it is an academic book, complete with footnotes, it is beautifully written. And while it was written in 1984, it is still applicable over thirty years later (and I see he released an updated version in 1999) Fowler takes us through human development theory and then his and his colleagues theories on Christian development and then weaves those two together into a treatise on the idea of vocation. His thoughts about that are so useful. I'm not going to type ever This book is excellent. Even though it is an academic book, complete with footnotes, it is beautifully written. And while it was written in 1984, it is still applicable over thirty years later (and I see he released an updated version in 1999) Fowler takes us through human development theory and then his and his colleagues theories on Christian development and then weaves those two together into a treatise on the idea of vocation. His thoughts about that are so useful. I'm not going to type everything in here because I'm typing on my phone because the Internet is down, but here is his simple definition of vocation: "Who am I in relation to [God]?" (93). And he expands: "Vocation is the response a person makes with his or her total self to the address of God and to the calling of partnership." (95). To find your vocation you study your "talents and inclinations" while paying careful attention to the Christian story (or the story/tenets/moral philosophy of your religion or secular life, and in relation to needs of world.(126) I could go on, but the bottom line is this: to develop your talents and gifts in relation to God and the world. In doing so you will not fear competition or death or many other things, instead you will live fully.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Bauer

    I was assigned this book as part of a class titled, Human and Faith Formation, as part of a certification program in pastoral ministry, at the University of Dallas. The book has a lot of detail in its 121 pages. Much of it is somewhat abstract. More concrete examples would have helped. The first half is very rich. In the second half, I appreciated the explanation and elaboration of the Catholic concept of vocation. The book merits re-reading. For me, the standout phrase in the book is, "the moral I was assigned this book as part of a class titled, Human and Faith Formation, as part of a certification program in pastoral ministry, at the University of Dallas. The book has a lot of detail in its 121 pages. Much of it is somewhat abstract. More concrete examples would have helped. The first half is very rich. In the second half, I appreciated the explanation and elaboration of the Catholic concept of vocation. The book merits re-reading. For me, the standout phrase in the book is, "the moralistic, harsh conscience of childhood." (p.19 in reference to Erik Erikson's stages) I think every person of my generation, especially those raised in strict Catholic homes, spends the rest of their life trying to overcome the moralistic, harsh conscience of childhood. Either that or they live quiet lives of guilt and despair.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    I'm so disappointed with this book. The topic is genuinely interesting and would benefit a much wider audience. Unfortunately it is written by an academic to academics, in the densest possible way. I feel like the author went out of his way to write things in the most convoluted way using the most obscure intellectual language he could. It's such a shame because as much as I disagreed with him on some things because I'm no longer much of a Christian, there is still much value in the combination I'm so disappointed with this book. The topic is genuinely interesting and would benefit a much wider audience. Unfortunately it is written by an academic to academics, in the densest possible way. I feel like the author went out of his way to write things in the most convoluted way using the most obscure intellectual language he could. It's such a shame because as much as I disagreed with him on some things because I'm no longer much of a Christian, there is still much value in the combination of his fascinating research on the stages of faith with human development and the implications for finding out the meaning of one's life. I gave up on it in the end.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maria Vonada

    Faith development in a concise book. Worth the time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Some random quotes: "With each later [faith:] stage, the circle of 'those who count' in one's way of finding or giving meaning to life expands." "Previously people were notable and admired as vocational models because of their virtues and usefulness in service to society., Now, admiration is more likely inspired by the appearance or reality of success and wealth, by fascination with power and its exercise, and by the name fan face recognition that comes with celebrity or notoriety." "When we consid Some random quotes: "With each later [faith:] stage, the circle of 'those who count' in one's way of finding or giving meaning to life expands." "Previously people were notable and admired as vocational models because of their virtues and usefulness in service to society., Now, admiration is more likely inspired by the appearance or reality of success and wealth, by fascination with power and its exercise, and by the name fan face recognition that comes with celebrity or notoriety." "When we consider the dynamics of faith in our lives, we sense that at each of the crisis points of our lives and at each of the expected or unexpected turning points of our lives, we face a time when our ways of making meaning and the patterns of our trusts and loyalties are subject to testing and change."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julia Powers

    "Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian" takes a close look at 1) the psychology of adult development 2) the psychology of adults' faith development 3) the meaning of & pursuit of vocation 4) the role of community in our pursuit of vocation. Fowler does an excellent job of organizing complex information in a logical fashion. This is a marvelous resource that I believe should be required reading for anyone who influences the faith development of young adults (e.g. young adult ministers, campus minist "Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian" takes a close look at 1) the psychology of adult development 2) the psychology of adults' faith development 3) the meaning of & pursuit of vocation 4) the role of community in our pursuit of vocation. Fowler does an excellent job of organizing complex information in a logical fashion. This is a marvelous resource that I believe should be required reading for anyone who influences the faith development of young adults (e.g. young adult ministers, campus ministers, religion professors).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liddy Barlow

    Fowler's stages of faith development are a basic part of most psychology of religion classes; here he expands on the stages to discuss their ethical implications and the theological concept of vocation. Fowler's stages of faith development are a basic part of most psychology of religion classes; here he expands on the stages to discuss their ethical implications and the theological concept of vocation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Nash

    Fowler paints an amazing picture of what it means to be truly human and presents a stirring challenge to us of how we should live.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Just finished first stage reading. Now to start over for second stage reading. Very compelling entry into the integration of "natural" life development and "gracious" (spiritual) life development. Just finished first stage reading. Now to start over for second stage reading. Very compelling entry into the integration of "natural" life development and "gracious" (spiritual) life development.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Camille Church

    Amazing concepts, but he's a horrible writer in some respects. I think the problem is that this book should be a lot longer than it is to make the concepts clear. Amazing concepts, but he's a horrible writer in some respects. I think the problem is that this book should be a lot longer than it is to make the concepts clear.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leroy Seat

    This is the book we have been studying in our Sunday morning "Bible study" class at Second Baptist Church. It is a fine book with good theological insight. This is the book we have been studying in our Sunday morning "Bible study" class at Second Baptist Church. It is a fine book with good theological insight.

  12. 4 out of 5

    DeborahMichael

    i've read this book almost three times through and it changes my life every time. i've read this book almost three times through and it changes my life every time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elliot Lee

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kent

  15. 4 out of 5

    JP Martinez

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  17. 5 out of 5

    Derek

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patrick O'connor

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bookmystique

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ronda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Britt

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brent

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Day

  28. 4 out of 5

    Drdiana Brevan

  29. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Asbury

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brownie

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