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Valda skrifter Psykologi och religion (1958)

av C. G. Jung

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Sixteen studies in religious phenomena, including Psychology and Religion and Answer to Job. ?

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This seven-hundred-page tome is volume eleven of Jung's Collected Works. I already own and have read many of its more substantial pieces in other editions. For example, I have the Bollingen series Answer to Job under its own cover, "Transformation Symbolism and the Mass" is in the Eranos Yearbook anthology The Mysteries, and I have recently read "Psychologists or the Clergy?" as part of Modern Man in Search of a Soul. In this review, I will confine myself to some comments on the objects of my recent reading in a copy borrowed from the library of Colorado Mountain College: the several essays concerned with Trinitarian doctrine and symbolism in Christianity.

Jung found various cross-cultural precedents for the Trinity. Most significantly, he focused on an ancient Egyptian notion grouping the Royal Father Osiris and the Royal Son Horus with the Ka-mutef, or “Bull of his Mother,” the third term being explained as “the procreative power of the deity.” He also pointed to the triune nature of the World Soul in Plato’s Timaeus, and to Plato’s Demiurge, created world, and World Soul as their own trinity. He mentioned the cultural continuity from Egypt to the Hellenistic world in which Christianity was incubated, but he saw the Christian Trinity not so much as derivative from these earlier examples but as a later, parallel expression of the same generic spiritual function. In Jung’s jargon, the Trinity is an archetype of the collective unconscious. His interest in it, he claims, is not metaphysical but psychological. He wants to understand why this idea should have gained such pre-eminence, and what is its ongoing role in the mind of humanity.

He observes the unreasonable and unnatural aspects of the Trinity as evidence of their grounding in the unconscious. He points to the systematic exclusion of the Mother or feminine element from both Egyptian and Christian expressions of the Trinity. Jung knew that in some early Christian theologies the Holy Spirit was feminized in the form of the Christ-counterpart Sophia. But he was also aware of the evanescence of that doctrine and the predominant concept of the Holy Ghost—like the Ka-mutef—as a “hypostasis of procreative power,” writing:

"The masculine father-son relationship is thus lifted out of the natural order … and translated to a sphere from which the feminine element is excluded. … Father-son-life … constitute the patriarchal formula that was ‘in the air’ long before the advent of Christianity." (par. 197-198)

Despite the Trinity’s archetypal status, Jung takes it to be incomplete, excluding not only the maternal but the material of the world. It is also impaired in its Christian recension by a moral one-sidedness. He discusses approaches to completing a “quaternity” with a fourth term personifying the unconscious operation of the psyche. Where he stresses the moral limits of the Trinity, Jung identifies this fourth term with Satan or the psychological shadow. But if we allow the Trinity itself to be beyond good and evil, then the fourth term is certainly the feminine complement of the Trinity, the anima as presented in Jung’s system. And he claims:

"Medieval iconology, embroidering on the old speculations about the Theotokos, evolved a quaternity symbol in its representations of the coronation of the Virgin and surreptitiously put it in place of the Trinity." (par. 251)

An example of such representations serves as a frontispiece to Jung’s book: Jean Fouquet’s painting of The Trinity with the Virgin Mary from a medieval Book of Hours. The imputation of agency to "iconology" in this case does not reflect official church doctrines or underground teachings, but rather an exercise of the collective unconscious in the course of conventional expressions. As Barbara Newman has shown in her study God and the Goddesses, these representations were in no way heterdox for their period.

Although the clearest theoretical articulation of these ideas is in the second set of lectures "A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity," the first set, titled simply "Psychology and Religion," touches on them often, in the context of an account of therapeutic practice involving the dreams of a psychiatric client, showing the relevance of the "archetype" to those who are neither theologians nor mystics.
2 rösta paradoxosalpha | Dec 21, 2017 |
il contenuto
Nella prospettiva di Jung i dati religiosi vanno considerati come la manifestazione storica infinitamente varia di un autonomo livello di realtà, autonomo in quanto, pur rivelandosi attraverso la vita, esso non è il frutto della sublimazione di una realtà biologica, come Freud pretendeva. ma è parte costitutiva e irriducibile della condizione umana. I dati religiosi vanno perciò compresi come la formulazione psicologica di esperienze interiori che hanno sempre, all'origine, i caratteri della rivelazione individuale. anche se subiscono poi il travaglio secolare dei tentativi di rielaborazione culturale tendenti a renderle assimilabili ai più; e che possono sempre riemergere nei materiali onirici o visionari individuali, in quanto essi hanno radice nel fondo archetipico comune. Psicologia e religione (1938/ 1940). il Saggio d'interpretazione psicologica del dogma della Trinità (1942/1948), Il simbolo della trasformazione nella messa (1942/1954) e gli altri scritti sulla religione in Occidente sono costruiti in questa prospettiva, che l'immensa dottrina di Jung sostanzia e conferma. A questi saggi seguono quelli da Jung dedicati alla religione in Oriente: i commenti psicologici al Libro tibetano della grande liberazione (1954) e al Libro tibetano dei morti (193511953), la Prefazione alla "Introduzione al buddhismo zen" di D. T. Suzuki (1939). Psicologia della meditazione orientale (1943), e così via. Essi mostrano magistralmente come i diversi metodi orientali d'introversione favoriscano il suddetto carattere individuale dell'esperienza religiosa; sottolineando tuttavia nel contempo l'estraneità di Jung, terapeuta impregnato del mito cristico della redenzione, alle tentazioni di fuga dal mondo presenti in così larghi strati della religiosità orientale.
  vecchiopoggi | Feb 12, 2016 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Jung, C. G.Författareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Adler, GerhardRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hull, R.F.C.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Do not combine with Psychology and Religion, which is around 150 pages and is included in this Collected Works Edition titled Psychology and Religion: West and East, which has around 700 pages.
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