Deakin University

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Children as a means of grace

posted on 2019-06-01, 00:00 authored by Brendan HydeBrendan Hyde
This project examined the perceptions of seven Godly Play storytellers in Australia to determine how they understood children to be a means of grace. Four Godly Play storytellers in the state of Victoria and three from New South Wales, were invited to participate in this project, contributing by: 1. Completing a short, written anecdote about a time during one of their Godly Play classes in which a child (or group of children) acted in ways that suggested to them that the child (or group of children) was a means of grace. 2. Taking part in a follow up unstructured audio-recorded interview with the researcher, in which they were about the anecdote they had written and given the opportunity to share any other insights they may have about the notion of children as a means of grace. A phenomenological framework drawing on the evocative method was used to present and analyse both the written anecdotes and the recorded interviews with the participants. The lifeworld existential of time (temporality) was used as the means by which to focus the analyse of the participants anecdotes and recorded interviews, along with the notion of pathic, situational knowing. The findings indicate that (1) grace was communicated during moments of serendipitous insight, (2) grace is communicated in the Kairos moment which demands an ability to know how to act – to seize the moment, and (3) grace is communicated when scared stories are shared between child and adult – pathic, situational knowing. In the light of these findings some implications are posited, including (1) the need to provide Godly Play storytellers opportunities for reflection and recognition of serendipitous and Kairos moments, (2) the place of children in the Church, and (3) the notion of the un-named child – an area in need of further discernment.






Research statement

Research report to an external funding body - Australian Research Theology Foundation incorporated (ARTFinc)

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper


[Australian Institute of Theological Education]

Place of publication

[Pennant Hills, N.S.W.]

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