(Spi)ritual interaction in musical activity for infants in the church space – A qualitative analysis.

Aino-Elina Kilpeläinen, Inkeri Ruokonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Early mother-infant interaction has been seen as very important for the development of religiosity and spirituality. This case study examines one specific musical activity for infants and mothers from the perspective of human interaction. The studied activity is Babysalmesang', or baby hymn singing (BHS), within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark. Meetings are held in church buildings and include singing hymns and other songs, playing in and exploring the church space. The qualitative empirical data on BHS activities were collected through video recording, observing and interviewing. The initial analysis on the data showed that four types of interaction can be found: mother-infant interaction, interaction between the participants, interaction between the participants and instructors and ritual interaction. BHS can be seen as a space for (spi)ritual interaction. In this context, nurturing spirituality combines with religious elements. Together with mother-infant interaction, also other types of interaction might nurture spirituality in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Spirituality
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)122-135
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Spirituality
  • religious education
  • infants
  • music activities
  • interaction
  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 614 Theology

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