Faith of a child

children.jpgIs our belief in God begin at birth or is it something that we pick up from those around us as we grow older?

Are we born without a concept of God? Do we begin our lives as atheists who then need to be convinced that there’s something bigger than us in the cosmos?

Oxford University psychologist, Dr. Olivera Petrovich, a lecturer in psychology of religion, has been studying the development of spirituality in children. She recently conducted cross-cultural studies involving British and Japanese children to see if children from different cultures have a similar understanding on matters of spirituality.

She was surprised to find that results were very similar in Britain and Japan. In general she found that most children have an understanding that there is a creator God at work in our universe. Very interesting results indeed considering that as a culture, Japan discourages speculation into the metaphysical, so most children are not brought up hearing about God or spirituality.

You can read an interview with Olivera Petrovich about her research here.

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

Today we discussed the research and looked at what impact such research should have on us.

You can hear our discussion by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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1 Comment

  • The human soul is like a mirror. It reflects whatever it is turned to. Studying the Word of God is necessary for an individual to have a accurate perception of God. Its like we are created incomplete and we need this divine education to become fully human.

    It is also interesting that Genesis mentions that one of Adam’s first activities was to name all the animals in the Garden of Eden. I think that is a reference to the origin of the human language. Communication through language is one of the most primal attributes of human nature.

    Thank God Jesus saved us. I believe that Baha’u’llah has already fulfilled all the prophecies of all former religion. He has revealed a new revelation of the Word of God and founded the Kingdom of God on earth and in heaven. The Universal House of Justice is on Mount Carmel in Israel.
    Ya Baha’u’l Abha

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