Minding Children in the Study of Liturgy


  • Faith Glavey Pawl University of St. Thomas, Minnesota




Children, Liturgy, Religious Practice, Religious Education, Ecclesiology


Recent interest in philosophy of religion on religious practice more generally, and liturgical rituals in particular, opens up new avenues for thinking about the religious lives of young children. In this article I consider what it means to say that young children are part of a worshipping assembly, and in what ways they might count as exemplary religious practitioners. There is very little discussion of the religious experiences and practices of children in the philosophy of religion, and I argue that this lacuna should be addressed. Taking cues from Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo's work on the philosophy of liturgy, I make the case that young children can and do participate fully in the liturgical rituals of Christian communities. I draw on the work of religious educators Sofia Cavaletti and Jerome Berryman to illustrate what the religious world of the child looks like, and to make the case that there are respects in which children are at an advantage over adults in participating in the liturgical life of the church.




How to Cite

Pawl, F. G. (2020). Minding Children in the Study of Liturgy. TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, 4(1), 6–29. https://doi.org/10.14428/thl.v4i1.54543