I believe faith is a human universal. We are endowed at birth with nascent capacities for faith. How these capacities are activated and grow depends to a large extent on how we are welcomed into the world and what kinds of environments we grow in. Faith is interactive and social; it requires community, language, ritual and nurture. Faith is also shaped by initiatives from beyond us and other people, initiatives of spirit or grace. How these latter initiatives are recognized and imaged, or unperceived and ignored, powerfully affects the shape of faith in our lives.
James W. Fowler
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In addition to the kind of critical reflection on one's previous assumptive or tacit system of values we saw Jack undertake, there must be, for Stage 4, a relocation of authority within the self. While others and their judgments will remain important to the Individuative-Reflective person, their expectations, advice and counsel will be submitted to an internal panel of experts who reserve the right to choose and who are prepared to take responsibility for their choices. I sometimes call this the emergence of the executive ego. The two essential features of the emergence of Stage 4, then, are the critical distancing from one's previous assumptive value system and the emergence of the executive ego... We find that sometimes many persons complete half of this double movement, but do not complete the other.
James W. Fowler
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Piaget-... A stage then, we may say, is an integrated set of operational structures that constitute the thought processes of a person at a given time. Development involves the transformation of such " structures of the whole" in the direction of greater internal differentiation, complexity, flexibility and stability. A stage represents a kind of balanced relationship between a knowing subject and his or her environment. In this balanced or equilibrated position the person assimilates what is to be "known" in the environment into her or his existing structures of thought. When a novelty or challenge emerges that cannot be assimilated into the present structures of knowing then, if possible, the person accommmodates, that is , generates new structures of knowing. A stage transition has occured when enough accommodation has been undertaken to require ( and make possible) a transformation in the operational pattern of the structural whole of intellectual operations.
James W. Fowler
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