Jung and the Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Jung and the Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Jung and the Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Jung and the Monotheisms: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam


Jung and the Monotheisms provides an exploration of some of the essential aspects of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Leading Jungian analysts, theologians and scholars - including Baroness Vera von der Heydt, Ann Belford Ulanov and Murray Stein - bring to bear psychological, religious and historical perspectives in an attempt to uncover the nature and psychology of the three monotheisms. The editor, Joel Ryce-Menuhin, is especially concerned to bring both the essential and comparative elements of the religious psychology of Islam to the attention of the contemporary reader and to provide a forum for an increased dialogue between the three monotheisms.


During the recent international Gulf War, the Christian West, the Judaic Israeli state and the Muslim world were all deeply committed to and involved in political unities and conflicts of great complexity. At a time when religious faith has played its part in violent political difficulties in many parts of the globe, it is valuable, as an act of peaceful intent, to consider the unity-in-variety of the three monotheisms. in discovering that the Islamic-Christian dialogue is treated less extensively in the literature than is the Christian-Jewish dialogue from the viewpoint of analytical psychology, I proposed this collection of papers to Routledge, wishing to bring together issues of paramount importance to the subject of Semitic psychology that are common to, or comparatively vital to, the three monotheisms.

As editor I shall introduce the five parts of this collection. While retaining the essences of the monotheisms in each author's own sense of expertise and style, the selection of papers makes its own synthesis.

Wherever one searches into the monotheistic religions, one finds moments of historical true unity forgotten by later generations. For example, Pico della Mirandola (1463-94), following on Ficini's Latin translations of the Greek text, the Corpus hermeticeum for Cosimo de Medici (which demonstrated the prestige given by 1463 to Hermes Trismegistus, its probable author), revealed the Christian links to pre-Christian conceptions without renouncing the Christian context. Pico went so far as to see that the magic described from Egyptian sources and the Jewish Kabbala, taken as previews of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, actually confirmed the divinity of Christ! Pico learnt Hebrew to study the Kabbala and is worthy of reassessed contemporary study.

There were aspirations just before and during the sixteenth century to unify the 'mysteries' of Egypt, the Judaeo-Christian world and the classical world of the humanists. Pope Alexander vi actually had the Vatican commission a fresco full of Egyptian images and symbols. These views of a unity-in-diversity continued for two centuries. Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) founded his sense of religious universalism on the role of Egyptian magic.

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