By Robert C. Dykstra
Trustworthy friendships -- Friendship as boyhood spirituality -- Subversive friendships -- pleasant hearth -- shut friendships
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Additional info for The faith and friendships of teenage boys
He suddenly seems to be ‘at home in his body,’ to ‘know where he is going,’ and so on” (19). For Erikson, this subjective sense of identity is one’s personal identity. A second dimension of identity, what Erikson termed the “psychosocial” or “cultural” identity, relates to personal identity but also has distinct qualities (1987a, 675). He appeals to an address by Freud in 1926 to the Society of B’nai B’rith in Vienna to illustrate its characteristics (676). Erikson quotes from this address, in which Freud comments on his Jewish identity: What bound me to Jewry was (I am ashamed to admit) neither faith nor national pride, for I have always been an unbeliever and was brought up without any religion though not without respect for what are called the “ethical” standards of human civilization.
In other words, the later adolescent boy needs to acquire a greater ability for generating and sustaining internal supports along with relying on external ones. He needs supports for his boyhood self that link with the act of believing in himself, not merely because others do but because he himself does, on his own terms. He needs an internal (a self-evident) basis for confidence in his significance as a boy, one who may follow his own heart and expectations. ) We may further distinguish between trust and faith by noting that the latter requires more intentional consideration and reflection.
Furthermore, friendships have the capacity to compensate for deficiencies in other relationships, including those with parents or primary caregivers, whether these deficiencies trace to earlier childhood or later. This compensatory power of friendship endures despite the fact that good friends may, at times, argue and even “fall out” for a period of time. In this chapter I suggest ways that friendships may provide for each of these benefits. First, however, I want to reflect further on qualities that may mark a boy’s spiritual life—that is, I will suggest the power that friendships hold for an adolescent boy’s spirituality.
The faith and friendships of teenage boys by Robert C. Dykstra