Transformation of the World: Covenant -Centric Christian Religious Education
Author(s)Nienhaus, Cynthia A
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe dissertation proposes a model of covenantal Christian religious education that can help people today, as they live in an increasingly diverse, multicultural, and religiously pluralistic world, to recognize that there is one covenant for all people, namely, the covenant initiated by God at the moment of every person's creation. It also argues that covenant-centric Christian religious education can be an aid to helping Christians respond faithfully to the lure of God so that they may work with God and in collaboration with people of other faith and religious traditions in efforts to repair and transform the world. The researcher contends that covenant-centric Christian religious education contains four hallmarks: (1) acknowledgement of human beings as co-creators with God; (2) cultivation of prayer and other values; (3) engagement in many forms of dialogue; and (4) repair and transformation of the world. The researcher maintains that when a religious educational process brings these four themes into dynamic interaction with one another, it can lead to an increase of faith, hope, and love in the lives of people and the world. Drawing upon continual theological and educational reflection on the events of the Holocaust and Vatican II, the researcher argues that covenantal Christian religious education can enable people to recognize the importance of valuing diverse expressions of God's covenantal relationships with people, and how it can engage people to know, name, and find God actively working in the lives of people and in their specific life contexts. The researcher also draws insights from the teachings of Isaac Luria, a sixteenth century Jewish mystic, and Maria Montessori, a twentieth century Christian religious educator, to provide a foundation upon which covenantal Christian religious education can be built.