The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5there are different forms of service but the same Lord;6there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.7To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.8To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit;9to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit;10to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.11But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
In this passage, Paul states that the Holy Spirit grants different gifts to different people, based on the image God has in mind for each person when he or she is created. The modern theory of Multiple Intelligences can easily be seen through the light of Paul's words.
This theory basically states that there are several intelligences that everyone has in varying degrees:
In her book Prayer and Multiple Intelligence, Bernadette Stankard writes that "Although people learn best through their strongest intelligence, everyone has the capability of developing all of them." In fact, it is when we are trying to develop an underused intelligence that real growth can occur.
What is your primary intelligence? Or your child(ren)'s? If they are the same, then choosing a similar spirituality and faith formation path will work well for you both. But what if they are different? That simply means that as parents, we can find different ways to engage, educate and excite our children about the faith, in ways that really speak to them.
As St. Paul states above, all of our gifts are from God, given to help each person fully live out his or her vocation in life. One type of intelligence is not "better" than another, just different. All intelligences are necessary for the full realization of the body of Christ. After all, "Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body.. . But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended.
(1 Corinthians 12:14-16,18)
Check out the resources to the right for more information on incorporating Multiple Intelligences into your home.
Multiple Intelligences Resources
Click on the links below to learn more.
Intro to Multiple Intelligences
What is Your Primary Intelligence? Take this quiz to find out!
Tapping into Multiple Intelligences
books to learn more