Dr. James Fowler has asked these questions, and others like them, of
nearly six hundred people. He has talked with men, women, and children
of all ages, from four to eighty-eight, including Jews, Catholics,
Protestants, agnostics, and atheists. In many cases, the interviews
became in-depth conversations that provided rare, intimate glimpses into
the various ways our lives have meaning and purpose, windows into what
this books calls faith.
Faith, as approached here, is not
necessarily religious, nor is it to be equated with belief. Rather,
faith is a person's way of leaning into and making sense of life. More
verb that noun, faith is the dynamic system of images, values, and
commitments that guide one's life. It is thus universal: everyone who
chooses to go on living operated by some basic faith.
on the contributions of such key thinkers as Piaget, Erikson, and
Kohlberg, Fowler draws on a wide range of scholarship, literature, and
firsthand research to present expertly and engagingly the six stages
that emerge in working out the meaning of our lives--from the intuitive,
imitative faith of childhood through conventional and then more
independent faith to the universalizing, self-transcending faith of full
maturity. Stages of Faith helps us to understand our own pilgrimage of faith, the passages of our own quest for meaning and value.