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Durham e-Theses
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Faculty of arts

Sharpe, Philip Alan (1997) Faculty of arts. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis argues that loss and bereavement have a profound effect upon children and that although children are generally valued by society, their innermost needs are often overlooked. Secular and Christian interpretations of the reasons for having children are deployed to identify the value of ritual and the place of the family and of God, suggesting that having children is a vocation and that children should be regarded as gifts rather than givens. This proposal is further developed by examining spirituality and the process of faith and spiritual growth in children according to their life's experience and environment. The argument continues with an examination of the essentially Christian problem of evil and suffering, suggesting that the virtue of patience is a significant resource. Through a progressive exploration of a variety of theodicies, a general identification with the experience of life is made. By identifying the process of grieving and attendant reactions to both death and significant loss, particularly in children, a means of hope and guidance is offered through the Christian hope of resurrection to eternal life. The objective of this thesis is to expose the basic needs of human nature when confronted with loss and bereavement, and to suggest the resources available to enable children to communicate and address their needs, with the aim of providing a sense of hope through suffering, so guiding them towards healing and wholeness.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:51

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