FROM LOVE TO EVOLUTION: HISTORICAL TURNING POINT IN THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi ABSTRACT Kirkpatrick’s contribution is evaluated in the context of historical devel- opments and persistent crisis in the psychology of religion. The ﬁ eld has been characterized by the lack of a unifying theory, as well as by some literature being driven by religious apologetics. Kirkpatrick’s approach has been truly theory-driven, always seeking a general psy- chological framework for analyzing religion and religiosity. His per- sonal odyssey led him to embrace Bowlby’s attachment theory, which has had a unique impact of research in academic psychology. But then Kirkpatrick demonstrates his honesty and courage in realizing that the attachment framework was less than adequate for the task of unifying the ﬁ eld. Instead, he invites us to join him in embracing the broader framework of cognitive-evolutionary theory, which should serve as the unifying framework for the ﬁ eld. I concur with his judgment. First let me state that I have before me Kirkpatrick’s book, which I have read, and I can ﬁ rst assure you that the précis is indeed a faithful summary of the ideas expressed in the book by the same title. Reading the
Archive for the Psychology of Religion – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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