Age 13

Conventional Faith

The following is adapted from the work of professor James Fowler. For a fuller exploration, see this  article.

During this stage, faith is shaped by the individual’s growing ability and desire to participate in the wider world beyond parents and family. Community is essential. There is developing need to belong and be accepted by peers and friends who share the individual’s interests and values. Faith is highly inter-personal, institutional, and communal; like the older child, it is rooted in the group and is shaped by the conventions, traditions, rules and habits of the group or faith community to which he or she belongs. 

Conventional faith may incorporate critical and non-critical attitudes toward faith. Young and early adults develop the ability to evaluate faith-claims by more objective standards, but may suppress critical questions out of fear, or for the sake of the security and acceptance provided by the group. In this stage the older child, young adults, and many adults imagine God as an authority figure who holds the group – and the world – together by enforcing order – a kind of cosmic “Godfather” with whom one exchanges “favors,” who rewards loyalty and punishes disloyalty. In this sense, God may be loving and merciful, but never at the expense of justice.

Resources for teaching 13-year-olds

Holiness at Home
Catechesis: Grades 7 and 8
WE ENCOUNTER God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. __ Human beings were created in a state of original holiness. The loss of this state of original      holiness is due to original… Read More
Holiness at Home
Catechesis: Grades 6 – 8
WE ENCOUNTER God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  There is a hunger for God in every human heart.  We can know God through creation, human reason and divine revelation.  God… Read More

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