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This is a unique exploration of the identity, formation and vocation of children from birth through to adolescence via the joint perspectives of a priest and a psychologist. The idea of vocation is central to the book's purpose: a shared belief in what it is to journey through childhood, to be called by God. In 21st century Britain, we are increasingly concerned about the effect of the modern world on our children's health and well-being. While different secular agencies have had an important role to play in this debate, the voice of the Church is frequently misrepresented, misunderstood and undervalued. "Called by Mind and Spirit: Crossing the Borderlands of Childhood" seeks to redress this imbalance. The book begins by exploring how our own family stories, passed down through generations, combined with our Christian heritage, influence our identity, its continued formation, and our sense of vocation. These themes of identity, formation and vocation are then related to modern childhood from a combined perspective of theology and psychology.
In the process, the book asks how, in contemporary Britain, we encourage and nurture children's faith, and how we might better equip today's children to understand and explore for themselves the world in which they are growing up. The sacramental rites of anointing and initiation (baptism, confirmation and ordination) provide the theological basis for the book; and the main stages of childhood (infancy and early childhood, middle childhood and adolescence) offer a framework for reflecting on these rites. The authors draw from a wealth of personal and professional stories to explore the multiple tensions and opportunities of childhood today.
Gavin Knight worked for Saatchi & Saatchi before reading theology at St Andrew's University. Since training for ordination at Cuddesdon, he has served in parishes in Birmingham and London and is currently Chaplain of Monmouth School. He has a post-graduate Masters Degree in Applied Theology from Oxford. Joanna Knight read English at Cambridge before training as a Clinical Psychologist. She specialises in child psychology and has worked for the NHS with children and their families in London, the South East and Warwickshire. She currently works for a charity, which she helped establish, which offers a training service for parents and professionals living or working with children with autistic spectrum disorders.