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This article argues that a consideration of children and childhood should be an essential element of theological anthropology. The argument is situated against the background of recent sociology of childhood, which emphasizes children’s agency; the author offers an interpretative view of this agency. In that context, Rahner’s approach to childhood in the prescient article ‘Ideas for a Theology of Childhood’ is examined. Finally, the author proposes a modest development of Rahner’s approach by focusing on two fundamental themes of theological anthropology: children as created, and their lives as graced. A more explicit theology of childhood is indispensable for contemporary church life, especially in light of both the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and the Catholic Church’s strong commitment to Catholic schooling.


School of Theology

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Journal Article

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