Teaching Jung

Teaching Jung

Teaching Jung

Teaching Jung

Synopsis

Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) has made a major, though still contested, impact on the field of religious studies. Alternately revered and reviled, the subject of adoring memoirs and scathing exposes, Jung and his ideas have had at least as much influence on religious studies as have the psychoanalytic theories of his mentor, Sigmund Freud.Teaching Jungoffers a collection of original articles presenting several different approaches to Jung's psychology in relation to religion, theology, and contemporary culture. The contributors describe their teaching of Jung in different academic contexts, with special attention to the pedagogical and theoretical challenges that arise in the classroom.

Many of Jung's key psychological terms (archetypes, collective unconscious, individuation, projection, synchronicity, extroversion and introversion) have become standard features of religious studies discourse, and his extensive commentaries on various religious traditions make it clear that Jung's psychology is, at one level, a significant contribution to the study of human religiosity. His characterization of depth psychology as a fundamentally religious response to the secularizing power of modernity has left a lasting imprint on the relationship between religious studies and the psychological sciences.

Excerpt

Kelly Bulkeley and Clodagh Weldon

Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) made a major, though still contested, impact on the field of religious studies. Alternately revered and reviled, the subject of adoring memoirs and scathing exposes, Jung and his ideas have had at least as much influence on religious studies as have the psychoanalytic theories of his mentor, Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). Many of Jung’s key psychological terms (archetypes, collective unconscious, individuation, projection, synchronicity, extraversion, and introversion) have become standard features of religious studies discourse. His extensive commentaries on various religious texts and traditions make it clear that Jung’s psychology is, at one level, a significant contribution to the study of human religiosity. in works like Symbols of Transformation (1912), Modern Man in Search of a Soul (1933), Psychology and Religion (1938), A Psychological Approach to the Trinity (1942), Transformation Symbolism in the Mass (1942), The Psychology of Eastern Meditation (1943), Aion (1951), and Answer to Job (1952), Jung made pioneering efforts to explore the unconscious fantasies, fears, and desires underlying religious ideas and practices.

Furthermore, Jung’s characterization of depth psychology as a fundamentally religious response to the secularizing power of modernity has left a lasting imprint on the relationship between religious studies and the psychological sciences. Just as he found protopsychological insights in the sacred texts of ancient religions, Jung identified essentially religious qualities in the modern scientific discipline of psychology. He not only used psychology to study religion but also used religion to study psychology. of course, this opened him to strong criticism from both sides: from theologians . . .

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