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Religion as Attachment: The Godin Award Lecture

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In this presentation, I delineate five refinements that I and my associates have introduced during the last decade to the literature on religion and spirituality from an attachment-theory perspective. First, I describe the principle of social correspondence as an addition to the idea that religiousness reflects generalizing working models of attachment. Second, I focus on what we have learned from studying implicit processes and utilizing experimental designs in religion-as-attachment research. Third, I describe results from research projects that have used developmentally validated attachment assessments, such as the Adult Attachment Interview. Fourth, I emphasize the need for engaging a wider developmental range in religion-as-attachment research and sum up what we have found using non-adult samples. Finally, I argue for employing a wider research perspective on the attachment-religion/spirituality connection than the central parameters of an attachment framework would suggest, by considering possible mediators between attachment and religious or spiritual outcomes.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Psychology, Stockholm University Sweden, Email:


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