Religion as Attachment: A Psychological Exploration of Relational Dynamics in God Representations

Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context - Peter Berger

Hanneke Schaap-Jonker [+-]
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Hanneke Schaap-Jonker is endowed professor in clinical psychology of religion at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and rector of the Centre for Research and Innovation of Christian Mental Health Care in the Netherlands. As psychologist and theologian, her research interests include God representations and mental health, religion and suicidality, and the interactions between religious factors and psychotherapy. Her current research focuses on self-compassion, religion and mental health. Her second dissertation in 2018 focused on God representations and mental health. Her 2019 inaugural address outlined the contours of a contemporary clinical psychology of religion with a focus on recovery, hope and compassion.


The book is intended for undergraduate students in religious studies and anyone else interested in the study of religion. It differs from most other introductions and handbooks in that it draws on ongoing research to show ‘how’ researchers approach their topics, thus providing orientation in a multidisciplinary context without attempting to homogenize the field.  Religion is studied from a multitude of approaches and methodologies, also represented in this volume: history, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, psychology and the academic study of religion. The introduction therefore focuses on providing students with an overview of the issues that are at stake in choosing an approach to studying religion in a multidisciplinary context: how one can learn to recognize how scholars conceptualize and delineate the object of study, what theory is, to recognize on what level of analysis research may take place, and the ‘problem of belief’ in the study of religion. The author of each chapter discusses material from their own research to demonstrate the approach and methodology they apply to produce and analyse the material they work with. This allows students to orient themselves with regard to the various methodologies and perspectives that they can deploy to formulate and answer their own research questions. 

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Schaap-Jonker, Hanneke. Religion as Attachment: A Psychological Exploration of Relational Dynamics in God Representations. Religion as Relation - Studying Religion in Context. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Oct 2021. ISBN 9781800500709. Date accessed: 27 Feb 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42557. Oct 2021

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