Martin Steinhäuser

On the Road to One’s Own Faith

Godly Play as a Concept for Liturgical Education

This contribution deals with the relationship between „religion“ and „pedagogy“ through “liturgy” in the concept of Godly Play. Following the distinction between “explicit” and “implicit” aspects of Maria Montessori’s concept of religious education, the author argues that Godly Play extends and modifies the relationship between “religion” and “pedagogy” through liturgy by working on three distinct levels: a) detailed contents of story and material (e.g. “The circle of the Eucharist”), b) didactical settings (e.g. verbal and nonverbal connections between liturgical and other stories), c) pedagogical-theological foundations (e.g. aims and intentions, structure of time, silence, ritualized communication, holy play).

After looking at two contemporary attempts to connect liturgy and pedagogy in the German religious education-discussion (Christian Grethlein, Roland Degen) the author pleads for interpreting Godly Play as a concept of “liturgical education” (“liturgische Bildung”) under the constructivistic-pedagogical presupposition that it is the children themselves who constitute the “liturgy” – not only through worship but as part of their everyday life.