Cindy Aalders: And a Little Child Shall Lead Them: Children as Spiritual Guides in 18th Century England

Date(s) - May 30, 2016
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Regent College Chapel

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This lecture is part of our Summer Lecture 2016 series.

Our concerns to pass on the faith have tended to focus on parents’ roles in teaching and nurturing children. A similar top-down perspective has characterized much historical enquiry: what, for example, did John Wesley write about children’s education? 

This lecture inverts that perspective by giving priority to children’s own voices as they have been preserved in print and manuscript sources. It explores the lives of a number of real eighteenth-century children who acted as teachers, preachers, and mentors within religious communities. Though their authority was shifting and unstable, these children were important spiritual guides. Then as now, how do we recognize and honour the ‘trickle-up’ impact of children’s behaviour, words, and actions upon their communities?

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