Talk:Fowler's stages of faith development

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There should be a firmer definition as to where this stands with the scientific community, and just how Fowler's work is defined. I think that being over-focused on the scientific criticism can blurr the article's focus (not to belittle its importance by any means). Not sure what the solution is, but I am starting to read this book, and may be able to help this article along. --SpencerTC 22:01, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

How to Number Fowler's Stages?[edit]

There is a problem with this entry in that the stages are presented as numbered from One to Seven, but Fowler's original numbering was from One to Six, with what he calls the infantile "Pre-Stage". Thus, what is here presented as Stage Two was designated as Stage One in Fowler's book, Wikipedia's Stage Three was Fowler's Stage Two, Wikipedia's Stage Four was Fowler's Stage Three, etc. --- clearly this could be initially confusing to a novice. (To complicate matters, popular author M. Scott Peck has written about Fowler's stages of faith, but using a four-stage system. Obviously, confusion reigns the day.)

I consider this entry important and this entry calls for much further development, but I do not want to attempt it myself in isolation; also I am relatively new as a Wikipedia contributor. Ajlopp 15:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

Very one-sided trashing of Fowler.[edit]

This article is very broken! It is one-sided and full of errors and typeos. To say, "anyone who has ever been around them, knows this to be the case" doesn't leave room to criticize Fowler for lack of empirical integrity. These amount to personal attacks and do not serve to explain the theory or its significance.MacBookGreen 05:41, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Also the Anonymous criticism seem to be original research. Origional research is still not acceptable for a Wikipedia article, rights? 10:11, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Not NPOV at all, and you're right about the original research thing; it sounds like it would be a perfectly good religious studies paper, but it doesn't fly as a Wikipedia article. I don't know enough about Fowler to revise this; does anyone here? And in the interim, I'm going to tag the page as being non-NPOV. At least, if I can figure out how. dcd139 23:41, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I removed it. I don't think there's a "better" version of that objection that meets wikipedia standards. Thomas1617 02:33, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Removed the NPOV tag.--Fyedernoggersnodden 17:33, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Personal or Cultural?[edit]

I haven't read Fowler myself, but I find myself confused by the statement that "stage three persons have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their deities are almost always anthropomorphic." First I assume it's supposed to be "stage two" since the proper numbering was restored. More importantly, did Fowler extend the stage model to serve as an analogy for development of cultures and religions over historical time spans? That's what the description seems to imply. This article most assuredly needs work for clarification on what's there, not only extension into what's not. --Fyedernoggersnodden 18:41, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Lack of faith?[edit]

How does Fowler does Fowler explain the development of people who, as they age, decide that deities do not exist, by the process of rational thought? That is, how do atheists fit into this scheme? That would seem like important information for this article.--Rossheth | Talk to me 21:09, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Very interesting question indeed. The rational stage is indeed predicted by Fowler's stages, but that laves us with the question whether eventually religion would cancel itself out by going into the rational stage.Inisus —Preceding comment was added at 11:21, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

That is a good question. I think it's important to recognize that Fowler's work posits faith as fundamental to human nature, how they understand the universe, and how they relate their own existence to their understanding of ultimate reality. But Fowler argues that this is not necessarily associated with religion or even a theistic perspective, rather that faith is tied to how one relates to one's self to the universe. (talk) 02:45, 17 May 2011 (UTC) Nicholas

This article either needs expansion or merging[edit]

This article does not say very much, and either needs quite rigorous expanasion or else merging, either with the article on psychology of religion or with that on James W. Fowler. Why, for example, does it not review empirical studies of the theory, or the construction and factorial validation of the "Faith Development Scale"? If all this article is going to say is a rather cursory description of each of the six stages, with no review of subsequent empirical research nor of the critiques of Fowler's theory, it might as well be merged. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 22:28, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

The Faith Development Scale was first described by Gary Leak and his colleagues, in "The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion" for 1999. I have added a reference to a more recent publication by Leak to the article. However, in view of the title of this article, I still feel that this article is too heavily based on Fowler's work. There are no acknowledgements of alternative approaches, such as that of Oser and Gmunder of Vicky Genia's work, which makes me wonder whether this article is best merged with that on James W. Fowler.— Preceding unsigned comment added by ACEOREVIVED (talkcontribs) 17:28, 14 March 2009

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Fowler's stages of faith development/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This page appears to violate the NPOV standards. It consists of a very brief sketch of Fowler's ideas, followed by a very long critique that is charged with controversial terms and claims. There should really be some attempt to more fully describe Fowler's work (the stages are based not merely on Kohlberg, but also on extensive interviews done by Fowler and his students). The discussion of critiques of his work should be done in a more balanced way. Is the jab at the presumed liberal bias of university faculty even appropriate for inclusion here? Agathman 13:36, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 01:54, 1 January 2012 (UTC). Substituted at 15:25, 29 April 2016 (UTC)