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God and Place as Attachment ‘Figures’: A Critical Examination
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
2019 (English)In: The Psychology of Religion and Place: Emerging Perspectives / [ed] Victor Counted, Fraser Watts, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, p. 183-200Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the present chapter, place and God are critically examined as attachment figures. The chapter starts with a presentation of the foundations of attachment theory as presented by Bowlby and Ainsworth. The semantics of the word ‘attachment’ is discussed, followed by a theoretical discussion on the nature of an attachment relation based on three different approaches: an essentialist, functionalist and prototype. It is argued that an essentialist approach is too narrow since it does not account for differences due to cognitive maturation. A functionalist approach, on the other hand, is considered over-inclusive and fails to discriminate between objects that provide security and attachment figures. The author thus favours a prototype approach based on Wittgenstein’s idea of family resemblance within categories and argues that God could be seen as a symbolic, or non-corporeal attachment figure. With regard to places, the author concludes that, even though they can provide security, it’s questionable whether they should be considered as attachment objects. The author also stresses the importance of both theoretical stringency and well-controlled empirical studies when applying a new concept within a theoretical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. p. 183-200
Keywords [en]
Attachment theory, Attachment to God, Place attachment, Essentialism, Functionalism, Prototype relationship, Critical examination
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176232DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-28848-8_10ISBN: 978-3-030-28847-1 (print)ISBN: 978-3-030-28848-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176232DiVA, id: diva2:1372780
Available from: 2019-11-25 Created: 2019-11-25 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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