Peter Müller

Storytelling and translating

Hermeneutical Reflections on Godly Play

After a crisis of storytelling in German religious education in the sixties and seventies new approaches to storytelling have verified its value for the development of religious development and understanding. Godly Play is one of these new approaches. The article deals with the concept of storytelling within the framework of Godly Play. It examines the following questions: In which theological and church backgrounds are the stories embedded? Which stories are told? And how are the stories told? The examination shows that the stories are adapted to the framework of Episcopalian theology and tradition. In quite a few instances not the bible stories themselves are told but combinations of several bible stories within a certain understanding of salvation history. And the impressive way of storytelling is combined with a sequence of “wondering-questions” which shed new light on the texts on the one hand but on the other are not always really compatible with the texts.

The article suggests the opening of methodical action within the framework of Godly Play and tries to clarify how to implement Godly Play into the system of religious education in Germany.