Cognition and Faith Formation: A Reflection on the Interrelationship of Schema, Thema, and Faith

From: Volume 4, Issue 2: Fall 2007, Children's Spirituality Pages 308-321


In the effort of suggesting a holistic paradigm of Christian nurture, this paper examines the relationship between congition and faith. The author relies on and expresses the epistemic frameworks of Piaget (1969, 1970) and Vygotsky (1962) particularly as they related to faith formation. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to explain the theoretical underpinning of the two perspectives of faith formation; and second, to set forth a broader framework within which to think about the interface between cognition and faith. The paper is not by any means an exhaustive or a definitive study of faith development. It offers a limited theoretical reflection on two distinct modes of cognition that contribute to the preliminary conception and validation of faith, hence the word formation rather than development will be used.



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