Delia Freudenreich

“Feeling something good behind me…“

On Scholarship and Studies about Children’s Spirituality in Godly Play

This article deals with the question how Godly Play works with and supports the spirituality of children. Jerome Berryman puts great emphasis on the pre-language and pre-reflective (oder: precognitive) layers in the human experience. It is an implicit knowledge which is perceived through the senses and can be encountered especially in young children. Berryman’s description of such precognition ties into the scholarship of William James, Alister Hardy, Edward Robinson, and David Hay about the religious experiences of adults. This tradition is also the background of an empirical study on the spirituality of children by Rebecca Nye and David Hay. The article reports the results of their study to show what exactly is meant by “children’s spirituality.” Godly Play presumes that children are equipped with a special sense for the mysterious aspects of reality and that they are especially capable of immersing themselves into imagined worlds.