, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 827-841
Date: 09 Nov 2012

“I Will Be Your God and You Will Be My People”: Attachment Theory and the Grand Narrative of Scripture

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In this article, we apply attachment theory to the grand narrative of Christian Scripture: creation, fall, redemption, and new creation. First, utilizing four key features of attachment theory—secure base, exploration, attachment behaviors, and safe haven—we attempt to integrate the “circle of attachment” with the biblical story of creation. Next, we explore the overlap between maternal deprivation, including the stages of protest, despair, and detachment, and the fall of humankind elucidated in the biblical storyline. Finally, we discuss the relationship between attachment theory and redemption and new creation within the grand narrative of Scripture. By focusing on the relationship between God and humankind found within the Old and New Testaments, we seek to expand the theological underpinnings of the attachment to God literature and conclude by offering suggestions for therapists and pastoral counselors working with Christians exhibiting disordered attachment patterns.