(RNS) — That’s “childist” biblical scholar — not “childish.”
But childist biblical scholar Julie Faith Parker does think adult readers have a lot to learn from the children in the Bible as well as the children around them.
Parker, associate professor of biblical studies at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City, is one of the pioneering scholars in the field of childist biblical interpretation — a term she helped introduce in biblical studies in the last decade. She defines it as “interpretation that places a child, children, youth or concerns related to young people at the center” — more analogous to “feminist” or “womanist” than to “racist” or “sexist.”
“It’s a new field, and it’s really gaining steam quickly,” she said.
Parker talked to Religion News Service about what childist biblical interpretation is, where it came from and why it can change not only the way people read the Bible, but also how they engage issues impacting children.