Attachment Theory and the Study of Religion

Attachment theory is a framework of social relationship that examines how repeated experiences with relational others form internalised models and representations that serve as frameworks that are generalised into future relationships. Attachment representations are central to human development and involve how individuals understand themselves in relation to others. Attached individuals seek and maintain proximity to their relational others, often in the form of attachment figures, to whom they are drawn as targets for proximity for safety and comfort. An attachment figure serves as a safe haven in times of distress and a secure base for exploring one’s broader environment and identity.

The application of attachment theory to the study of religion examines the relationship experiences formed between religious believers and their divine entities (e.g., God, Jesus, ...

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