The Role of Attachment in Perceived Relationships with Deities

Colloquium | February 26 | 12:10-1:20 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall

 Frances Nkara, Psychology Department

 Department of Psychology

Religious believers’ perceived relationships with deities likely promote the pervasiveness of theistic religions, especially if these relationships engender or promise attachment-related “felt security”. Specific expectations and behavior within these perceived relationships might be derived from individual differences in implicit, internal working models or states of mind regarding attachment that are based on relationships with caretakers. As part of an investigation of these hypotheses, I will report findings from the inaugural use a semi-structured Religious Attachment Interview (RAI), modeled on the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI), but adapted for attachment to a non-corporeal deity within religious life. I will also compare the RAI findings with the participant's states of mind with respect to attachment, as measured with the AAI.