Towards an Integrated Theology of Youth

In: Journal of Youth and Theology
Graham D. Stanton Lecturer in Practical Theology, Ridley College, Melbourne, vic, Australia,

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This article summarises eight theological perspectives on youth and young people. Young people are variously seen as (1) sinful creatures in need of redemption; (2) gifts of God and sources of joy; (3) developing beings in need of guidance and instruction; (4) open to conversion; (5) vulnerable to exploitation; (6) fully human, made in God’s image; (7) a prophetic presence; and (8) a prophetic voice. Rather than simply affirm all 8 perspectives as important, an integrated theological perspective on youth views young people within the distinctive features of their created reality, with particular strengths and assets along with distinct needs and deficits, to be fully capable as bearers of the divine image, and with emerging capability as social agents.

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