Theological ideas and biblical injunctions have frequently been employed to legitimate the physical abuse of children. Some theological ideas are inherently abusive because they create fear in a child’s mind, causing a child to feel alone, odd, or of little worth. Donald Capps exposes some abuses that theology and the Bible have inflicted on vast numbers of children. In particular, he is concerned with the hidden abuses of children by well-intentioned adults and the role that religion plays in the legitmation of these abuses.
More than an expose, however, The Child’s Song is a book about reconciliation and the healing of the chold self – ‘the mutilated soul’ – that all adults carry within themselves. Using the biblical image of the Garden, Capps draws from the same biblical tradition that has contributed to the physical and emotional abuse of children to envision and initiate the healing process.