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Fuller Professor’s New Book Explores Science of Children’s Religious Belief

Published on Friday, March 2, 2012 | 12:05 pm

Justin L. Barrett, Director of Fuller’s Thrive Center for Human Development and Thrive Professor of Developmental Science, has a new book to be released in March entitled, Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief.”In an age of atheism, this book will challenge widespread assumptions that nonbelief is the default and that children must be indoctrinated to believe,” commented Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California and past-president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of the Psychology of Religion. “Born Believers should be required reading for all parents and for anyone else interested in the spiritual lives of children.”

Barrett presents a masterful discussion of whether children are born with a natural ability to exercise faith in God, and includes a systematization of the phenomena accompanying the belief process and an overview of recent research and scholarly discussions on the subject of children and belief. He brings together the commonalities among Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other believing communities in ways that support the idea that religious belief is, in fact, “a fundamental and healthy part of human existence, springing from cognitive systems that if removed would remove our humanity.”

In their review of Born Believers, Publishers Weekly remarked, “Barrett’s analysis represents a major addition to the literature discussing the natural bent toward belief, and should be widely read.”

To preorder Born Believers, which will be released on March 20, click here.

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