Children’s Religious Drawings
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Wiedmaier, M. (2008). Wenn sich Mädchen und Jungen Gott und die Welt ausmalen. Feinanalysen filmisch dokumentierter Malprozesse. Wahrnehmende Theologie. Studien zur Erfahrung und religiösen Lebenswelt, Bd. 3, Münster: Lit Verlag.

Streib, H. (2000). Gottesbilder fallen nicht vom Himmel.Kindliche Malprozesse als Gestaltung von Religion

"May I introduce you to... GOD" Change of the perception, imagination and illustration of God from childhood to youth.

Research Project by: Patrizia Meise geb. Schumacher

Prof. Heinz Streib, Ph.D. / Emory Univ.

How do individual perceptions and imaginations of God change from childhood to youth? This is one of the main questions which will be dealt with during the course of this project. A detailed analysis of filmed interviews accompanied by subjects drawing their imaginations and perceptions of God will be the basis for this research matter. It will be assumed that children and adolescents are people who are well able to develop theological thoughts and who have their own, differentiated perceptions of God. I will furthermore assume that they are able to express their thoughts and perceptions through verbal interaction and through their drawings.

This is what connects childhood to youth; hence it will be possible to pinpoint and analyze tangible changes in the perception and imagination of God by studying and analyzing the very same subjects again some years later.

The first step will be a detailed analysis (or a "re-analysis", for that matter) of already existing data on drawing processes which has been collected by H. Streib, K. O. Kahrmann and M. Wiedmaier from 1997 to 2003. This detailed analysis of drawing processes is supposed to illustrate which kind of imaginations and perceptions were prevalent in the children at the time of the first survey. The following survey and its detailed analysis will then document the changes in perception and imagination of the very same persons over the years.

This research project will differ from already existing studies which primarily show uniform schemes and patterns in the perceptions and imaginations of God by certain age groups. So far, none of these studies have shown proof in developments or shifts in perceptions. The reason for this is that there have not yet been any longitudinal studies which could have illustrated the actual development of such perceptions.

Therefore, the goal of this research project is to bridge this gap and, in contrast to earlier studies, to not categorize children?s and adolescent?s perceptions and imaginations of God. Instead, a longitudinal survey in which children and adolescents, who have already taken part in a drawing process study at an early age, will be the basis for this project.

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