Formation of the Moral Selfby J. A. Ven, Johannes Van Der Ven
The aim of this volume, the first in the Studies in Practical Theology series, is not to make a moral diagnosis per se of/p>
Moral concerns about contemporary Western society have been loudly and widely expressed, by experts and ordinary people alike, centering on such basic questions as these: What is good? What is right? What is wise? and What is purposive?
The aim of this volume, the first in the Studies in Practical Theology series, is not to make a moral diagnosis per se of what ails Western society. Rather, it seeks to translate the widespread moral concern throughout the West into the quest for moral education. Johannes van der Ven interprets these kinds of moral questions from the point of view of developmental, learning, and teaching processes as they take place in the family, schools, associations, and congregations; and he describes, analyzes, and evaluates these processes as carefully as possible.
In the course of his study, van der Ven provides a foundational understanding of the process of moral development and the structures of education that help initiate it. He distinguishes between two modes of informal moral education (discipline and socialization) and five modes of formal education (transmission, development, clarification, emotional formation, and character formation). He argues that the common denominator of all seven modes is "moral communication," which can be defined as the ongoing process of moral exchange and understanding in the search for truth—a search that leads to nothing less than the formation of the moral self.
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