Attachment theory is a popular lens through which psychologists have examined human development and interpersonal dynamics. In Attachment in Religion and Spirituality: A Wider View (Guilford Press, 2020), Pehr Granqvist uses that lens to examine the psychology of religion and spirituality.
He focuses on the connections between early caregiving experiences, attachment patterns, and individual differences in religious cognition, experience, and behavior.
The function of a deity as an attachment figure is analyzed, as are ways in which attachment facilitates the intergenerational transmission of religion. The book suggests that the attachment perspective can aid in understanding mystical experiences, which are extraordinarily difficult to examine.
The “wider view” of the title encompasses connections between religion and mental health, and cultural differences between more and less religious societies.
Despite the density of the material, Granqvist's conversational writing style, concrete examples, and references to popular culture render complex concepts accessible.
Pehr Granqvist teaches in the Department of Psychology at Stockholm University.
Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a Jerusalem-based psychologist, Middle East television commentator, and host of the Van Leer Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel
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