Spiritual attachment in Islam and Christianity: similarities and differences

Maureen Miner*, Bagher Ghobary, Martin Dowson, Marie Therese Proctor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Theory and measurement of attachment to God have largely been developed from a western Christian perspective. However, the relevance of the attachment construct for Muslims should be examined if it is to contribute to a greater understanding of Islamic spirituality and psychological health. In this paper, we explore similarities and differences between Islamic and Christian understandings of human-divine relationships. We consider evidence of a common core of attachment themes of relevance to both religions, and whether different dimensions are emphasised in religious writings of the two traditions. This theoretical work is foundational for cross-cultural/cross-religious research. We argue that a core difference between the two faiths is that Muslims approach God in a less direct, more mediated fashion than Christians. Such differences have important implications for the wording of self-report assessment items and approaches to interventions designed to increase the security of Christians' and Muslims' attachment to God and mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-93
Number of pages15
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • attachment to God
  • Christianity
  • comparative religion
  • Islam
  • psychological practice

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