Fowler, James W. Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981.
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Theology and Human Development at Emory University.
Stages of Faith
Infancy and Undifferentiated Faith
Stage 1: Intuitive-Projective Faith
Stage 2: Mythic-Literal Faith
Stage 3: Synthetic-Conventional Faith
Stage 4: Individuative-Reflective Faith
Stage 5: Conjunctive Faith
Stage 6: Universalizing Faith
“In these pages I am offering a theory of growth in faith. At the heart of the book you will find an account of a theory of seven stagelike, developmentally related styles of faith that we have identified. A theory means an elaborate, dynamic model of very complex pattens in our lives. Theories can be exciting an powerful, giving us names for our experiences and ways to understand and express what we have lived. They can also become blinders, limiting our ability to see to only those features of phenomena that we can name and account for. Erik Erikson, himself a great theory maker, once said, ‘We must take our theories with a serious playfulness and a playful seriousness.’ In that gentle warning there is a kind of double faith—faith that we can in some measure grasp, clarify and work effectively with the most vital processes of our lives, but also faith that the reality of any such complex process will not be exhaustively contained in our theoretical frameworks.”