The role of pluralism in the faith formation of young people, with a focus on immersion experiences

Author: Stephanie Van Rossen

Van Rossen, Stephanie, 2019 The role of pluralism in the faith formation of young people, with a focus on immersion experiences, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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The intention of this thesis is to explore the relationship between pluralism and faith formation. Specifically, the thesis investigates how an understanding of religious pluralism in multiple contexts is gained and explored through immersion experiences. This is focused through the experience of young people, as this is both a critical time for their faith formation and they are also one of the largest demographics for engagement in short-term mission and immersion experiences.

The project is supported by a literature review and research which unpacks various definitions of pluralism, interfaith dialogue, the multi-faith context, mission, and how these relate to faith formation. The literature review unpacks threads in the research, focusing on definitions and understandings of pluralism, interfaith and multi-faith. It discusses controversies in the literature, with some attention to the critical reflections on pluralism and various emphases based on conversion. The research collected speaks highly to the importance of education and the need for a continued relationship between anthropology, missiology and theology. Through qualitative data collection in the form of interviews, further insight is gained into the role of pluralism in the faith formation of young people as experienced on mission. The data supports much of the research, confirming the impact immersion experiences have on the faith formation of young people.

This project offers insights and recommendations based on research and data for educational instruction and preparation. It focuses on the need for adequate preparation for interacting with other faiths and denominations, particularly in a missional context. Lastly, it affirms the positive impacts of mission for faith formation with specific connotations for young people.

Keywords: Young adult, young people, faith-formation, pluralism, interfaith dialogue, immersion experiences, mission, short-term mission, education

Subject: Theology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Kirsten Macaitis