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An attachment theoretical approach to women’s faith development: a qualitative study

Joung, Eun Sim (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study is an exploration of the experience of faith from a psychodynamic perspective. The main purpose of this study is to provide a coherent and convincing account of the roots and characteristics of Christian women’s faith experience which will complement and, in some respects correct, existing accounts. Attachment theory is mainly employed as a conceptual framework for the research and the study pursues attachment as an important key factor for faith development. Examining the patterns of God-attachment in relation to human attachments, this study employs a qualitative methodological approach, focusing analysis on linguistic meanings, and using open-ended and unforced autobiographical narrative in-depth interviews with a group of 10 Korean Christian women. The main findings indicate what the key characteristics in women’s faithing are: the language, means and context with or in which women practice their faith; the relational and affective understanding of faith within the women’s accounts and the interaction of attachment issues in their experience of faith. Three major patterns are identified in which the women’s faithing strategies and their representations of self and God are presented: these are Distance/Avoidance, Anxiety/Ambivalence and Security/Interdependence. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are identified for Christian education, pastoral care and counselling for women.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hull, John M. and Slee, Nicola Mary
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Education
Keywords:women, faith development, attachment, spirituality, education, pastoral care, counselling, qualitative study
Subjects:BV1460 Religious Education
BR Christianity
BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:78
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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