Jung and the World Religions

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Session #1: Psychology and Religion: Jung’s Argument

Session #2: Jung on Christianity

Session #3: Jung on Eastern Religions

Session #4: Jung and the Jewish Mystical Tradition

Session #5: Jung and the Bible – The Answer to Job


The Asheville Jung Center is excited to announce our Jung and the World Religions Series with Murray Stein. Dr. Stein has already taken part in 2 magnificent seminar series including Jung and Alchemy as well as The Psychology of Fairy tales.  This course is a 5 seminar course on the topic of Carl Jung and the Religions of the world. 

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.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Jung’s early studies on religion
  3. The Terry Lectures
  4. Religion and Analytical Psychology
  5. Conclusion

Learning Objectives:

  1. Compare Jung’s views on religion with Freud’s view.
  2. List some of the archetypes that can be found in religions
  3. 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.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Jung’s views on religions
  3. Jung’s Christian History
  4. Jung on Christianity
  5. Conclusion

Learning Objectives:

  1. List some aspects of Christianity that Jung was critical of.
  2. Describe Jung’s history as a Christian.
  3. 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

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Religions in India
  3. Chinese religions and Richard Wilhelm
  4. Buddhism
  5. Jung’s writings on Easter Religion
  6. Conclusion

Learning Objectives:

  1. List some of Jung’s writings on Indian Religions
  2. Describe how Jung used the I Ching in Psychotherapeutic practice.
  3. 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.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Jewish Mystical Tradition
  3. Jung on Judaism
  4. The Sephirotic Tree
  5. Conclusion

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss why Judaism is referred to as a mystical tradition.
  2. Compare mythological truth and literal truth.
  3. 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.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Story of Job
  3. Jung’s thoughts on Job’s ordeal
  4. Conclusion

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain why the book of Job is controversial.
  2. List several archetypes that can be found in Job’s story.
  3. Analyze how the book of Job helped shape Jung’s view on Christianity.



Murray Stein, Ph.D., is a supervising training analyst and former president of The International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland (ISAP Zurich). He is the author of Jung’s Treatment of Christianity as well as many other books and articles in the field of Jungian Psychoanalysis.  Dr. Stein was also editor of Jung’s Challenge to Contemporary Religion. From 2001 to 2004 he was president of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. He has lectured internationally and presently makes his home in Switzerland.
Dr. Tony Woolfson, born in Glasgow, Scotland, was a university teacher in Humanities and Social Sciences in Toronto, Canada, until he travelled to Zürich in the 1990’s and began to study and teach Jung and Religious Experience at the C.G. Jung Institute.  Tony relocated to Zürich two years ago where he studies, teaches, and writes about Jung. He collaborated for the Philemon Foundation on the first translation of Jung’s seminars on Children’s Dreams and is currently collaborating on the first translation into english of Marie-Louise von Franz’s encyclopaedic work on Fairy Tales, Symbolik der Märchen.


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