One of the unique features of Jung’s psychological writings is his countless references to the world’s religions. As much as he was a psychiatrist and psychological theorist of the human personality, he was a close student of human spiritual traditions in all of their variety, from the high theological traditions of monotheism to the mystical traditions of the East and the local traditions of indigenous peoples in America and Africa. In addition, he devoted many articles and essays to offering a psychological interpretation of specific religious texts and doctrines, East and West. This seminar will be devoted to reviewing Jung’s writings on the world’s religious and spiritual traditions.
Seminar Series & Reading List:
Seminar #1 (January 24, 2015) – “Psychology and Religion: Jung’s Argument” (text: “Psychology and Religion,” by C.G. Jung, CW 11). Seminar will be led by Murray Stein.
- Jung’s early studies on religion
- The Terry Lectures
- Religion and Analytical Psychology
- Compare Jung’s views on religion with Freud’s view.
- List some of the archetypes that can be found in religions
- Describe the role that numinous experiences play in religious dogma.
Seminar #2 (February 21, 2015) – “Jung on Christianity” (texts: Jung’s Treatment of Christianity, by Murray Stein). Seminar will be led by Murray Stein.
- Jung’s views on religions
- Jung’s Christian History
- Jung on Christianity
- List some aspects of Christianity that Jung was critical of.
- Describe Jung’s history as a Christian.
- Explain what an original experience is.
Seminar # 3 (March 28, 2015) – “Jung on Eastern Religions” (text: Jung on the East, edited by J.J. Clarke). Seminar will be led by Murray Stein
- Religions in India
- Chinese religions and Richard Wilhelm
- Jung’s writings on Easter Religion
- List some of Jung’s writings on Indian Religions
- Describe how Jung used the I Ching in Psychotherapeutic practice.
- Compare Jung’s relationship with Wilhelm to Jung’s relationship with Freud.
Seminar #4 April 11, 2015) – “Jung and the Jewish Mystical Tradition”. Seminar will be led by Tony Woolfson.
- The Jewish Mystical Tradition
- Jung on Judaism
- The Sephirotic Tree
- Discuss why Judaism is referred to as a mystical tradition.
- Compare mythological truth and literal truth.
- Describe the Sephirotic Tree.
Seminar #5 (May 16, 2015) – “Jung and the Bible – The Answer to Job (text to be announced). Seminar will be led by Murray Stein.
- The Story of Job
- Jung’s thoughts on Job’s ordeal
- Explain why the book of Job is controversial.
- List several archetypes that can be found in Job’s story.
- Analyze how the book of Job helped shape Jung’s view on Christianity.
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