The Circle of Place Spirituality (CoPS): Towards an Attachment and Exploration Motivational Systems Approach in the Psychology of Religion

in Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 29
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Abstract

The author proposes a variation to the ‘Circle of Security’ model: one in which the behaviour of a religious believer is depicted in a circular pattern of movement that begins and ends with the object(s) of attachment. This variation is conceptualised in the present paper as the Circle of Place Spirituality (CoPS). CoPS takes a relational psychoanalytic approach to examine the interplay of multiple shifting motivations within the individual in terms of exploration of place and attachment to God. This proposed model recognises stimulation to anthropomorphised objects of attachment within the individual context based on two motivational drives: attachment needs and exploration curiosity. It is argued that these two drives enhance the perception of the object of attachment as either a safe haven for attachment-affiliation or a secure base for exploration curiosity. In the last section of the paper, attachment needs and exploration curiosity are presented as the drives responsible for the engagement with objects of attachment and further clarified as the systems through which the interplay of exploration of place and attachment to God can be adequately understood in CoPS.

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