The 15th Conference of the International Association for Children’s Spirituality
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK
Tuesday 26 – Friday 29 July 2016
Please join us in the historic city of Lincoln to explore children’s spirituality from a range of perspectives. The conference provides a forum for academics and practitioners in education, social work, health care, counselling, psychology, chaplaincy, practical theology, the arts, humanities and anthropology amongst others to share their latest research and practice. The conference will explore the ways in which spirituality is conceived in and across cultures, and how more connections between different disciplines can be made to advance understanding of this important element of children’s lives.
Our International Keynote Speakers Are:
John (Jack) Miller, University of Toronto, Canada
Equinox Holistic Alternative School: an integrated approach to learning
This presentation will focus on how one public school in Toronto has implemented a holistic curriculum at the elementary level (Grades K-8). The talk is based on study I completed that included interviews with teachers, parents and students. The school uses experiences in nature and the arts as means to integrate subjects and develop a holistic curriculum which focuses on developing the whole child – body, mind and soul.
Joyce Ann Mercer, PhD., LCSW, Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, Yale Divinity School, USA
Restorative Spirituality: hope for traumatized children
In September 2015 a news photo of a Syrian child lying dead on a Turkish beach dramatically but briefly focused the world’s attention on the trauma experienced by countless people fleeing their conflict-ridden homelands. In spite of the high emotional velocity of this child-specific image, the photo’s impact failed to translate into lasting attention to the particular situations of children living in the midst of war and migration. In this talk about ‘restorative spirituality’ in children’s experiences of trauma, I explore the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for addressing child trauma-sufferers’ complexities. Working across the disciplines of clinical social work, practical theology, education, and conflict and peace studies, I describe current understandings of childhood trauma. The talk also draws upon ethnographic research with peace builders working in the aftermath of violent conflicts, to consider how spirituality constitutes a crucial resource for healing.
Jacqueline Watson, PhD., Visiting Fellow, University of Exeter and University of East Anglia, UK
Every Child Still Matters: interdisciplinary approaches to the spirituality of the child
Ten years ago, a new policy initiative in England entitled Every Child Matters prompted a policy vision for re-thinking the child as a whole person. At the time, I was struck by the absence of any reference to spirituality in this new holistic view of the child. The theme for this conference provides the opportunity both to see where we are now with integrated working for children and young people more generally in different international contexts, and to focus our attention on interdisciplinary approaches to children’s spirituality and the whole child in particular. In my talk, I will seek to summarise some of the current international thinking about these ideas, as explored during the Conference itself. My talk ends by looking forward, in returning to a long-standing concern of mine: that it is time to stop stating that spirituality is hard to define and come to an agreement about we mean when we use it.
In addition to our keynote speakers we have a wide variety of papers and workshops to choose from and a range of social activities to facilitate networking and reflection.
For prices and to book your place, please click here to download the registration form and follow the instructions.
Please note that registration will open at 12:00pm on Tuesday with events commencing at 2:00pm. The conference will close with lunch on Friday
Please click here for travel information and how to get here.