Playing with Icons: The Spirituality of Recalled Childhood, is a study of memoirs of childhood in order to learn something about the spiritual lives of children. A basic premise of this study is that from our birth-and indeed from before our birth-we are spiritual beings, however elusive that idea proves to be. Most of the children we shall meet had some experience of formal religion. For some that experience is suffocating, threatening to stifle their spiritual growth, or simply inadequate, failing sufficiently to express all that most moves them. For others religion promotes their spirituality, above all lending them a language with which to utter what lies beyond words. With the help of the children we meet on the pages of this book, it is hoped we will better serve the children of today.