Embodied Spirituality Following Disaster: Exploring Intersections of Religious and Place Attachment in Resilience and Meaning-Making
Religious and spiritual experience unfolds in the ever-changing milieu of culture, institution, social environment and physical place. But what happens when mass tragedy strikes? How might congregants be uniquely impacted when a shooting desecrates their synagogue, mosque, temple or church? Or when a hurricane obliterates their home, which is imbued with sacred significance for them? What role might local faith communities play in facilitating healing and resilience? This chapter explores the embodied experience of faith in the context of mass trauma and disaster, drawing on attachment, object relations, affective neuroscience and ecological systems theories. Specifically, we propose the multidimensional framework of embodied spirituality to capture the dynamic interplay of cognitive, affective and social processes in experiencing and restoring a sense of the sacred in the aftermath of mass tragedy and loss.
KeywordsEmbodied spirituality Religious attachment Place attachment Disaster psychology
This manuscript was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation (Grant #44040). The opinions expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.
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