Children's Spirituality and the
Experience of Children Affected by War 

crosslisted as CT9260C and DS9260C

Dr Denise Goodwin
Not offered in 2020
The unit engages learners in critical study of children’s spirituality and investigates the understandings and issues relating to refugee, war-affected children, and those children not war-affected between the ages of 4 to 16. The “experiential mode” will focus on the work of David Hay and Rebecca Nye, Elaine Champagne and Brendan Hyde among others, and explore spiritual modes of “connectedness” and their relationship to prayer and the presence of altruistic behaviours in children. The nature of war-affected and refugee children’s spirituality will be examined, drawing on accounts of children from war zones and in diaspora. Separate case studies of war-affected children will be identified and guided by analysis of various methodologies. Critique of research methods best suited to the theological task will be examined through the lens of a “mutual critical correlation” method. 


BS8600C and CT8605C


face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • two 1,500-word essays 2 x 25%
  • one 4,000-word essay 50% 


  • Champagne, E. “Listening to … listening for … : A Theological Reflection on Spirituality in Early Childhood.” In Spiritual Education. Cultural, Religious and Social Differences: New Perspectives for the 21st Century, edited by Jane Erricker, Cathy Ota, and Clive Erricker, 76–87. Brighton: Sussex Academic, 2001. 
  • Coles, Robert. The Spiritual Life of Children. Inner Lives of Children. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. 
  • Denov, Myriam, and Bree Akesson, eds. Children Affected by Armed Conflict: Theory, Method and Practice. New York: Columbia University Press: 2017. 
  • Denzin, Norman K., and Yvonne S. Lincoln, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. 5th ed. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2017.
  • Hay, David, and Rebecca Nye. The Spirit of the Child. Rev. ed. London: Fount, 2006.
  • Hyde, Brendan. Children and Spirituality: Searching for Meaning and Connectedness. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2008.
  • Machel, Graça. The Impact of War on Children: A Review of Progress Since the 1996 United Kingdom Report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Edited by Jennifer F. Klot, and Theo Solwa. London: Hurst, 2001.
  • Swinton, John, and Harriet Mowat. Practical Theology and Qualitative Research. London: SCM, 2006.
  • van Manen, Max. Researching Lived Experience: Human Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Watters, Charles. Refugee Children: Towards the Next Horizon. London: Routledge, 2008.