Identity Research and the Psychosocial Formation of One's Sense of Spiritual Self: Implications for Religious Educators and Christian Institutions of Higher Education

From: Volume 3, Issue 2: Fall 2006 Pages 240-259


Utilizing Erikson's (1963) psychosocial ego identity development theory, 28 qualitative interviews with religiously devout American are analyzed to determine different patterns of adult spiritual identity. Following an integrationist approach, we provide response to the question, "What types of identity development are accommodated, promoted, or prohited by particular models of Christian education and the educational communities that embody them?" Recognizing individual differences in (1) the social and contextual factors that affect identity formation, (b) the way religious doubts are resolved, and (c) what individuals seek from community, we offer important implications for religious educators and Christian institutions of higher education.



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