ID 1497
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Varieties of Religious Experience in Children's Literature
ランドマーク レオナルド
Journal Title
Bulletin of the Faculty of Education, Wakayama University. Humanities science
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Abstract Alternative
This paper looks at the presence of religion and religious experience in a variety of books on children's literature by a variety of authors. The books discussed are largely those that I have read in the course of the last year. Since the selections have been chosen without rhyme or reason, they represent a random selection by a random group of authors. William James in his classic set of Gifford lectures discussed the varieties of religious experience of individuals in solitude. For whatever reasons, he neglected the whole social or communal element of religion. This paper will include both dimensions. One problem that we face today that James didn' t is the general erosion of belief in religion and religious experience. In some senses this is illusory, since the religious element is as basic to life as the air we breathe. Modern rationalism and scientism also tends to assume that only what it can describe and circumscribe is real. And since we are all children of such societies and raised with such beliefs, we tend to think that such things are true. Fortunately we have children's literature and the sense of story to tell us this is not the case. Religion also has to deal with and explain the basic problems of life: does life itself have any meaning or purpose? Is death the end of all? Is there any explanation for evil? Does suffering have any value? Since these are basic questions, children's literature must ask them and try to provide answers. This paper will assume that the various works mentioned or discussed do attempt to deal with those questions and provide answers to them. Sometimes the answers are direct and explicit, sometimes they are only hinted at or implicit. But basically, the works do provide answers. Often the works also act as mirrors which show us what our society has become, with all its flaws and distortions. This seems especially true of those works that deal with modern technology and computers.
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
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