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Attachment Theory In Religion Essay

2019 words - 9 pages

Born and raised a Catholic, I have been exposed to religion my entire life. I went Catholic schools from nursery school, all the way up until college and have observed all of the different levels of religiousness people display. I look at religious belief as a spectrum. On one side there are those who are infatuated with religion and God almost on an unhealthy level. As you work your way down the spectrum you begin to experience people who are less in love with religion and God, and more cynical about the whole thing. Here we come across Agnostics, who feel as if it is impossible for them to know if there really is any divine being out there. And finally, on the complete opposite side of the ...view middle of the document...

A secure person has a relationship with their attachment figure which is considered healthy. This person seeks help and comfort from their attachment figure in times of need and hardship. The two unhealthy the relationships are anxious and avoidant. The avoidant person attempts to rely only on himself and tries to isolate himself from the attachment figure. The anxious person cannot make up his or her mind and has mixed feelings towards their attachment figure. God, in the same way that we should look at our attachment figure, should be seen as our safe haven and place to turn to in times of need. It is possible that those people who do have this strong relationship with God and view him as a safe haven could have either had a bad relationship with their original attachment figure, or a very good relationship with their attachment figure. Those people who had a secure relationship with their attachment figure when they were young, simply have to replicate that relationship and apply it to God and will have a strong relationship. From a very early age they were exposed to secure relationships, so for them it is is second nature. However, it is also possible that people that had a very unhealthy relationship with their attachment figure can have a very healthy relationship with God. For them, they see it is as a chance to compensate for the unhealthy relationship they had with either their Mother or Father, so they take advantage of the second chance to form a strong relationship with something else that can provide them with a safe haven (Miner, 2009). This was very surprising to me. When I first started thinking of the Attachment Theory in religion I automatically assumed that those people that had healthy relationships with their attachment figure would have healthy relationships with God, and vice-versa. The fact that an anxious or avoidant person can use their relationship to God to compensate their unhealthy relationship with their attachment figure did not even cross my mind.

As someone who has a strong relationship with God, I resent Karl Marx's quote that states "Religion is the opium of the people", it is possible to use it when trying to figure out the Attachment Theory has an affect in religion. It is no secret that humans are imperfect creatures, therefore it can also be said that we are obviously not perfect attachment figures. We cannot always be the perfect safe haven, and we cannot always offer complete protection. However, a basic foundation of religion is that it creates a flawless attachment figure; God. I can speak on the part of Catholicism that we are taught that God will never give us a situation we cannot handle, or leave us in the dark without his aid. He is the attachment figure we are yearn for, the absolute safe haven (Kirkpatrick, 1992). Karl Marx would say that the reason for religion is because we humans are incapable of dealing with difficult and arduous situations by ourselves. Since we lack a perfect safe...

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