Anthropology and Attachment.
Irish Journal of Anthropology, 10 (1).
In the second half of the last century Ireland, along with much of the Western world, witnessed a remarkable surge of interest in experientially-based forms of religion that often emphasized spiritual or ‘magico-religious’ healing practices2. As Robbins’s 1988 review of the literature on modern New Religious Movements (NRMs) shows, the sociological origins and functions of these movements has been extensively studied and theorized. In this essay I will argue that recent developments in the field of developmental psychology bridge the gap between sociological and psychological theories of religious behaviour in a way that promises to deepen our understanding of religious behaviour and explain individual and collective surges of interest in devotional and magico-religious forms.
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