Across the years, the ages have had different views of life’s beginning stages. David F. Lancy, professor of world civilizations and cultural anthropology at Utah State University, identifies three of these views of children: cherubs, chattel, and changelings.
- Chattel: the view of those who want children “seen and not heard” because they are little more than a nuisance, devoid of value until after puberty.
- Cherubs: the view of those who overly romanticize childhood; children are to be appreciated from a maudlin, sentimental standpoint; and cherished only for their “cute” factor.
- Changelings: the view of those suspicious of what children are “up to”; children are seen as devious, untrustworthy, mercurial, and almost alien in nature.
There are yet two other views of children in the latter 20th century which are being threaded into today’s various worship tapestries: (more…)